Arbor Day 2010

Hi everyone!  With Arbor Day just two short days away, now is the perfect time to consider planting a new tree in your home landscape.  We have a wide range of beautiful trees to chose from down at Garden Supply.  By planting a tree, you will not only be enhancing your own yard, but you will also be helping the environment.  Did you know that trees remove pollutants and dust from the air?  Trees also provide natural insulation- enough to cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 30%.  Come talk to our experts about choosing the perfect tree for your garden, and celebrate Arbor Day with us!

Here’s a little fun history on Arbor Day.  The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska.  It was the idea of Julius Morton, a Nebraska journalist and politician.  Throughout his long career, Morton worked to improve agricultural techniques and served as President Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture.  But his most important legacy is Arbor Day.

Morton felt that Nebraska’s landscape and economy would benefit from the wide-scale planting of trees.  He set an example himself by planting orchards, shade trees and wind breaks on his own farm, and he urged his neighbors to do the same.  As a member of Nebraska’s state board of agriculture, he proposed that a special day be set aside dedicated to tree planting and increasing awareness of the importance of trees. For Nebraska’s first Arbor day, more than one million trees were planted.  A second Arbor Day took place in 1884 and the young state made it an annual legal holiday in 1885.

In the years following that first Arbor Day, Morton’s idea spread beyond Nebraska with Kansas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio all proclaiming their own Arbor Days. Today, all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day. Arbor Day is also now recognized in other countries, with variations being celebrated in Australia, Japan, Israel, Korea, Yugoslavia, Iceland, and India.  Sometimes one good idea can make a real difference.  For more information about this holiday, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation.

Over the next few days, I’ll share a few simple Arbor Day crafts and activities you can do with your kids at home that will foster a love of trees that will last a lifetime.

This fun pine-cone bird feeder is a snap to make and would be perfect to hang in your newly- planted commemorative Arbor Day tree. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

  • A large, open pine cone
  • Vegetable shortening, lard, or suet
  • Oats or corn meal
  • Bird seed
  • String

Simply tie a few feet of string to the pine cone and then cover the cone with the food mixture below. Roll the pine cone in birdseed and then hang it from a tree branch outside.

Food Mixture:

Mix 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, lard or suet with 21/2 cups cornmeal or uncooked oats until well blended. Optional: add chopped dried fruit, chopped nuts, seeds like sunflower or millet, and/or suet which are high energy bird foods.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!  I’ll see you back here tomorrow for more great Arbor Day ideas.