Smithsonian Gardens Celebrates Arbor Day 2012

April 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

In the summer of 1854, J. Sterling Morton, a New York native who was raised in Detroit, moved to the Nebraska Territory with his wife.  Upon reaching the plains of this new territory, Mr. Morton missed the trees he grew up with in New York and Michigan.  He began to plant trees which were needed for wind breaks, fuel, food, erosion control and shade.  Through his advocacy and education, Morton proposed a national holiday to plant and to recognize the importance of trees.   On April 12, 1872, the first Arbor Day celebration was held, and over one million trees were planted in Nebraska.

An Arbor Day celebration in 1887.

An Arbor Day celebration in 1887.

Here at Smithsonian Gardens, we are excited to be celebrating Arbor Day at two of our locations!  On April 27, we will be planting a native flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) at the new Bird Garden Habitat at the National Museum of Natural History and a native redbud (Cercis canadensis) at the Anacostia Community Museum.  Trees offer many benefits to our environment, especially in urban areas.  They decrease energy costs and storm water run-off, provide habitat for wildlife, reduce pollution, and increase property values.

A mature elm tree at the National Museum of Natural History.

A mature elm tree at the National Museum of Natural History.

As the new Arborist here at Smithsonian Gardens, I look forward to starting an annual tradition of celebrating this important holiday.  Too often, trees are overlooked as they tend to “fade into the background.” I want to bring their beauty and importance to the attention of our visitors, and hopefully inspire them to plant trees at their own homes, schools, or places of business.  Please join us!

-Greg Huse, Arborist

Entry filed under: Horticulture, Trees.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Elizabeth Urcinoli  |  April 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I look forward to hearing about the new trees that will be planted here at the Smithsonian every Arbor Day. Trees should be appreciated. I look forward to seeing what the new Smithsonain Arborist will bring to the gardens. It sounds like he is doing a wonderful job!

    Reply

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