How are all you fine people out there today? I am well and enjoying our beautiful spring weather. So many flowers coming up everywhere and blossoms on the trees, I love it! Or if you are in the southern hemisphere, you are hopefullyenjoying the gorgeous autumn leaves. Either way, trees give us a lot!
And that brings us to Arbor day. Arbor comes from the Latin word arbor which means tree. So Arbor Day is the holiday set aside to encourage people and organizations to plant and care for trees. Many countries celebrate this investment so make a national day of Arbor Day varies according to the country. Most places try to correlate it with a spring date as this is the most advantageous time for planting. Here in the UnitedStates of America most states celebrate it on the last Friday of April.
The first recorded Arbor day was held in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo as an arbor plantation festival, organized by its mayor in 1594. Also in 1805 the small Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra held their first modern Arbor Day. It was organized by the local priest and had joyful support of the entirepopulation.
We had our first Arbor Day here in North America in 1854 put into motion by two pioneers from Detroit, Michigan. “Missing the trees and forests of home, J. Sterling Morton and his wife planted trees, shrubs, and flowers around their property. Soon Morton, the editor of a Nebraska newspaper, was urging his neighbors to plant trees as windbreaks, to keep
soil from eroding away, for shade, for fuel, for building materials, and simply for beauty. As the idea caught on, people began planting and caring for trees.
“Eventually, after Morton became a member of Nebraska’s State board of agriculture, he was able to influence more people to plant trees.On April 10, 1872, at Morton’s suggestion, the state celebrated its first Arbor Day, and eager individuals and counties planted over one million trees. Eventually Arbor Day was adopted by other states, and in 1970 President Richard Nixon declared the last Friday in April to be National Arbor Day. This holiday is still celebrated though on different days, depending on the state, to coincidewith the best tree-planting weather.”1
Many countries have adopted this great way to care for out planet. Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Lesotho, Republic of Congo, Maiawi, Mexico,Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Venezuela are just a few countries that participate in this global effort of caring for God’s creations.
And trees are a gift from God. Created on Day Three of Creation Week. But Jehovah in His infinite wisdom madetrees for much more than aesthetic value. When God was designing things He made most living animals to breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide. And He also designed trees and other vegetation to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen. Didn’t God create a wonderful interdependent system? Also trees need to have sunshine in order to
“Despite needing water themselves, trees actually help conserve water. Their shade reduces water evaporation from lawns; and their leaves release water vapor, which can increase atmospheric moisture.
“In addition to removing the carbon dioxide, trees also absorb odors and even pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides,
ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and ozone from the air. Their leaves and bark can trap particulates out of the air making it cleaner and less polluted.
“When rain falls and hits a tree, it runs down the trunk and into the ground at the base of the tree. This prevents it from flowing down a drain, carrying pollutants with it. When planted on hillsides or other slopes, tree roots prevent erosion and runoff by holdingthe soil in place.”2
And don’t forget the most obvious; delicious fruit and nuts. Who doesn’t love apples or oranges, avocados, almonds, pecans, cherries, mangos, papayas, bananas, figs, and maybe the most important…olive trees (the oil is used for eating, lotions, medicine and burned for light). So God made trees to feed us and the animals, to help us breathe and for medicines, shade and beauty. I bet you can think of a few more thing too, like shelter!
Trees have been very important in our history as well. What would the Garden of Eden have been without trees? It would have been difficult for Noah to build the ark without trees. And of course, the most important, is that the “sinless Creator of the world took the penalty of our sin upon Himself as He diednailed to a cross made from a tree.”
Jesus loves us soooooo much.
May you all view trees with just a little more thought of the spiritual connection they bring, and of the great love Jesus has for us.
Until next time, God bless and take care,