Florida gardening: Florida Arbor Day 2022

National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April each year. Here in Florida, however, in 1945 the state legislature designated the third Friday in January as Florida Arbor Day. This year, 2022, Florida Arbor Day is on January 21st. So go ahead and plant! This is the time of year when the climate is optimal for planting trees.

Arbor Day is a reminder that all of the plants, trees, shrubs, grasses and even chlorophyll-rich phytoplankton in the oceans are essential to life on this planet. It is well known that oxygen, one of the byproducts of photosynthesis, allows us to breathe.

However, green chlorophyll is, equally or more importantly, the substance that traps all of the energy that is coming onto this planet. This is the energy we all use to live, love and grow. Whether we burn the phytochemicals in the form of petroleum products to fuel all sorts of endeavors or eat kale to fuel our hectic lives, the energy transfer from light to carbohydrates made by chlorophyll sustains life and enables our existence.

Trees are an integral part of the web of life and deserve a day of recognition and celebration. J. Sterling Morton is the founder of Ardor Day. The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska in 1872 in response to a state proclamation urging settlers and settlers to plant trees to provide shade, shelter, fruit, fuel, and beauty for residents of the largely treeless plains.

Morton explained: “… with our words on the Arbor Day – and all other favorable opportunities – then strive to beautify the world with plants, trees, flowers and foliage, that our earthshops are approached those who are the prophets , poets and seers of all ages have represented home in heaven.” More than a million trees were planted in Nebraska’s communities and farms on that first Arbor Day.

Trees are valuable in many ways.

  • Trees are natural air and groundwater filters. They remove carbon dioxide and pollutants from the environment; A single tree can absorb 26 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Trees can help reduce cooling and heating costs. Properly placed trees help conserve energy by shading and cooling buildings in summer and blocking cold winter winds. The cooling effect attributed to trees results in annual savings of $2 billion, or about 5% of US energy consumption.
  • In addition to their practical value, trees also have an aesthetic value. They add different colors, shapes, textures and patterns to the landscape. Properly placed trees are inviting, provide privacy and serve as a canopy for outdoor areas.
  • The real estate value of landscaped homes is 5 to 20% higher than that of non-landscaped homes.
  • Trees provide habitats for wildlife—birds, mammals, and reptiles.
  • Hairy leaf surfaces of trees trap and filter airborne ash, dust, and pollen particles.
  • Trees provide forest products, including lumber, paper, mulch, oils, rubbers, syrups and fruits, that boost Florida’s economy by more than $7.9 billion annually.

Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way. Buy a Trees Are Cool license plate — treesarecool.com. Join or follow the Florida Urban Forestry Council – fufc.org. Plant a tree yourself, one for a friend and one for your community. Make sure the kids get their hands dirty and you all have fun.

Carol Cloud Bailey is a landscape consultant and gardener. Send questions to [email protected] or visit www.yard-doc.com for more information.

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