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Treasure the Trees: Celebrating Arbor Day

In the ever-increasing roster of awareness days competing for attention, Arbor Day has gotten short end of the stick. But as environmental awareness continues to grow, so does interest in this nearly 150-year old holiday. The day was founded by J. Sterling Morton, a journalist with a passion for trees and spreading agricultural knowledge. In 1872, the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture accepted his resolution to “set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit” – and Arbor Day was born.
Today, the National Arbor Day Foundation provides millions of trees, and it is estimated that 18 million are planted each year on the holiday (the last Friday of every April). Even those who don’t opt for planting still honor the day with activities ranging from tree identification hikes to ceremonies highlighting community efforts to preserve natural foliage.
Here are just a few ways that trees can bring more value and vitality to your life:
Trees are one of the most effective – and beautiful – ways to escalate your property value. A mature tree can have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000 according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. According to a survey by Arbor National Mortgage and AmericanForests.org, Ninety-eight percent of Realtors believe that mature trees have a strong or moderate impact on the salability of homes listed
for $250,000 or more.
Whether you’re remembering the past, or expressing hope for the future, trees are a wonderful way to make a statement that can last for generations to come. Go to a local nursery to pick out your own tree or consider purchasing your commemorative tree through a service that works with the U.S. Forest Service or a state agency. Not only will you receive a gift acknowledgement to keep or share, you will be assisting in the reforestation of our nation’s woodlands.
Want to give your air conditioner a break this summer? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service says, “Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and can save 20-50% in energy used for heating.” Trees and other plants also help cool the environment. Another USDA study states that “the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.”