ARBOR DAY AND ITS ORIGIN
The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872 at the initiative of Julius Sterling Morton, a US newspaper editor and politician who encouraged the plantation of trees in the State of Nebraska.
Arbor Day also welcomes the arrival of spring and the rebirth of nature, and is observed in most countries of the world. Dates may however vary from the North to the South hemisphere,
and also from country to country, depending on climate and other factors, and even within the very same country, as is the case in Canada and in the United States.
Old olive tree in Portugal, this photo is courtesy of TripAdvisor
In Portugal, the first Tree Celebration was held on March 9, 1913, and the first Forest Day on March 21st, 1972. At present, both celebrations take place on March 21st, a day that usually coincides with the first day of spring.
This same date was also chosen by most European countries, for example Belgium, but others chose different dates, as is the case in Luxembourg, where National Tree Planting Day takes place in November since 1991.
The People's Republic of China celebrates Arbor Day on March 12. In India, the Tree Planting Festival is held during a certain week in July. Japan celebrates a similar festival to Arbor Day on May 4.
It is called Greenery Day, and it is linked to the celebration of Emperor Hirohitoís birthday. Though Japanís 1947 constitution dissolved the Empire of Japan, the emperor is recognized as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people.
Japanese cherry tree at the Geneva Botanical Garden
© Dulce Rodrigues