It is said that the first tree planting celebration was held in a small village in Spain in 1805 by a priest, don Ramon Vacas Roxo who was, according to his chronicles, convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, and the benefit to the environment. Then, in 1872 J. Sterling Morton, a journalist and secretary of the Nebraska Territory proposed a tree planting holiday to be called "Arbor Day" in the U.S. It is estimated that more than one million trees were planted that Arbor Day by the schoolchildren of the state. Birdsley Northrop globalized the celebration when he visited Japan in 1883 with his message of the importance of trees and, in 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt issued an "Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States" on the importance of planting trees. Now the tradition to observe Arbor Day or a celebration of planting trees has spread throughout the world.
Carbon dioxide is building up in our atmosphere and heating our world. We need trees to survive! Trees absorb CO2 and release the oxygen that we need back into the air. In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people and absorb the amount of CO2 produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
Trees heal! It has been proven that patients with views of trees out their windows get well faster. Trees protect us and shield us from ultraviolet rays; trees provide food, not only for humans, but also for birds and wildlife; trees have medicinal properties and many of our health remedies come from trees; trees help to prevent water pollution and soil erosion; trees provide food, protection and homes for, not only people, but also animals and birds.
Last but not least, trees are our teachers and playmates. Whether as tree houses for children or spiritual retreats for adults, trees have provided the space for human spiritual wellbeing throughout the ages. Let's celebrate by planting a lifesaving tree for our planet!
Mimi from the Lae Lae collection