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Plant a Tree for Arbor Day!

April 21, 2014

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A great way to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day is to plant a tree in your own yard, in your community, or with some classmates on your school grounds. Planting a tree is a bit more complicated than you might think. Need some ideas on what tree to choose and when and where to plant it? Read on!

  • Try planting your tree on or around Arbor Day, which is on April 24th this year. In most of the United States and Canada, early spring is the best time to plant a tree. Planting in summer is not a good idea, because the hot weather could be harmful. 
  • Choose an appropriate spot. The tree will be happiest in an area where it has room to grow, and where the soil is rich, without too much clay or sand mixed in. If you are planting at school, you may want to think of settling your tree away from a very active area, such as the playground. 
  • Pick a type of tree that is native to your area. A tree that tends to grow naturally in your part of the world will be more likely to flourish, and less likely to interrupt the local ecosystem. Study what types of trees will thrive in your climate. You can even ask a teacher, friend, or parent to help you do some research. 

Students plant a treeStudents plant a tree

Caring for Your Tree

Does your school or classroom have a tree or forest that they have planted or take care of? In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, here are some great ideas for caring for a tree in your school or neighborhood!

  • Regularly check the tree's leaves; do they have any strange spots or discoloration? This may indicate disease. If a tree's leaves are yellowing and dying at the wrong time of year, like in spring, it may be a sign that the tree is sick. 
  • Are there any dead or broken branches? Disease could sneak into the tree through these breaks. Not sure if a branch is dead? Gently scrape a small piece of bark away with your finger. If the wood is green underneath, the tree lives! Be careful not to scrape too hard, you don't want to wound the tree. 
  • Protect the tree! Damage to the drunk, like a deep gouge, could put your tree in danger of insect infestation or disease. 

When a leaf has spots like this, the tree may be sick!When a leaf has spots like this, the tree may be sick!Courtesy of Carsten Niehaus

Now you're ready to think about planting or "adopting" a tree in your neighborhood or at your school!

Have Your Say!

What kinds of trees would you like to try planting? Do you have a favorite type? Let us know in the comments section!