What happened to Arbor Day? I remember it being something the nursery trade joined in on. Checking today I see it’s been taken over by Calfire (our state fire agency). When you look up more information we’re directed to the National Arbor Day Foundation, out of Nebraska. Following the link, “View the California State Report”, we’re taken to a 2014 dated news release.
Depending on which state you live in, the day is celebrated at different times. Here in California the date is March 7, Luther Burbank’s birthday. Luther Burbank was California’s most famous horticulturalist, being responsible for developing hundreds of different types of fruiting plants, as well as ornamentals, think Shasta Daisy.
While Earth Day on April 22 is popular, it’s more of a broad area of interest celebration. Arbor Day, however, was made for the nursery trade. It’s a day when we are suppose to plant a tree! If there are any California nursery trade organizations left, and I don’t know if there are, why not take this up? If there are no trade organizations willing too, why not take it up on our own?
The message of planting a tree for the future is exactly the type of activity we need to encourage. Non-denominational, above politics, and something anyone can do. Live in an apartment? Plant a tree in a container, inside our out! Trees can be fruiting, ornamental, helpful for wildlife, or any other reason for planting a tree. I remember some nursery group trying a “Plant Something” campaign. I never liked that because it’s so open ended. Plant what? Here we have an opportunity to plant a very specific item, a tree.
The nursery trade always seems to be wondering how best to promote itself. Here we have a specific date, on which to do a specific thing, that will make a positive influence on the person planting it, the neighborhood, and the world. Why not promote this? If the trade won’t do it, I’m going to do it. How about you? Something as simple as letting people know in advance of this special date, how your store can help, and giving them the encouragement to “get it done”. You could even map out where these new trees are being planted, with pictures of the people planting the tree. Next year let’s check in and see how the tree is doing. Post more photos of that tree planted last year, and the new one they are planting.
A horticultural tradition is born!