Arbor Day and Arbor Month on the Gunflint
National Arbor Day was yesterday but some states celebrate Arbor Day on different days and Minnesota recognizes May as Arbor Month. We’re not planting trees in celebration of Arbor Day this year since we would have to shovel way too much snow to get to the still frozen earth beneath it. My tree planting will wait until after May 3rd when I receive a bunch of new tree seedlings from Hedstrom’s Lumber Company.
Hedstrom’s Lumber Company has been giving free tree seedlings to residents of Cook County for I don’t know how many years. Each year we take advantage of their generosity and request 100 free seedlings of either White Pine, Red Pine, Spruce or a combination of trees. It’s been especially helpful since the Ham Lake Fire of 2007 when some of our property was burned black.
When you enter our driveway at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and look to your right then you’ll see some pine trees coming up that were planted since the fire. These were donated by Hedstrom’s and most likely planted by me! Not all of the seedlings grow into bigger trees but when you find soil, which is difficult to do in our rocky landscape, you’re percentage of survival increases.
I hope you enjoyed National Arbor Day and get in the habit of planting trees every year.
Arbor Day celebrations began in Nebraska in 1872. Nebraska, along with other Great Plains states, had almost no trees. Still, the region grew flourishing agricultural crops and the climate was suitable for growing trees. J. Sterling Morton believed Nebraska needed more trees. He sponsored a campaign for tree planting in Nebraska, setting aside April 10 for just that purpose. Today all 50 states observe Arbor Day on various dates, and all plant trees on Arbor Days. For more history on Arbor Day go to ArborDay.org
In 1876, Minnesota became the fourth state to adopt the tradition of celebrating Arbor Day. Since 1978, May has been Arbor Month in Minnesota. The warmer weather in May allows newly planted trees to get off to a good start.
Planting a tree helps create a healthy and beautiful environment for this and future generations.