National Arbor Day

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge

Did you know the five most common trees in the United States are the red maple, loblolly pine, sweetgum, douglas-fir and quaking aspen? National Arbor Day – which falls on April 25, 2014 – is the perfect time to plant them! Founded over 135 years ago, Arbor Day is dedicated to planting and celebrating trees across the United States. Trees add beauty and value to our landscapes, and provide many environmental benefits. They help clean the air by absorbing pollutants, provide oxygen that we breathe, absorb rain water and snowmelt, prevent erosion and more!

Several states celebrate their state Arbor Days on April 25, too. Check out the list below.

Viewer Tip: You can celebrate National Arbor Day in more ways than one!

Learn about trees in your area and take a hike with friends and family to see how many you can identify.
Volunteer 
with a local tree-planting organization to plant trees in your community.
Plant a tree at home. After choosing one from the many different species of trees that can grow where you live, consider the location of the tree before planting it. Add deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves in the fall) on the south, east and west sides of your home to provide shade during the summer, reducing cooling costs. Plant evergreen trees along the north and west sides of your home to block chilly winds.

    States Celebrating Arbor Day on April 25

    (Interactive Map)

    Arizona – Palo Verde
    Connecticut – White Oak
    Delaware – American Holly
    District of Columbia – Scarlet Oak
    Idaho – Western White Pine
    Illinois – White Oak
    Indiana – Tulip Tree
    Iowa – Oak
    Kansas – Cottonwood
    Massachusetts – American elm
    Michigan – Eastern white pine
    Minnesota – Norway pine (or red pine)
    Montana – Ponderosa pine
    Nebraska – Cottonwood
    Nevada – Bristlecone pine & Single-leaf piñon
    New Hampshire – White birch
    New Jersey – Red oak
    New York – Sugar maple
    Ohio – Ohio buckeye
    Pennsylvania – Eastern hemlock
    South Dakota – Black Hills spruce
    Rhode Island – Red maple
    Utah – Quaking aspen (as of 2014)
    Virginia – Flowering dogwood
    Wisconsin – Sugar maple
    Wyoming – Cottonwood

    (Sources: Arbor Day Foundation. “Benefits of Trees.” http://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm; PATrees.org, “Trees and Forests Reduce the Impacts of Stormwater,” http://www.patrees.org/trees-reduce-stormwater; Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, “Native Plant Database,” http://www.wildflower.org/plants/)

    FromEarth Gauge