Thank a Tree April 27, 2018

If trees can like and dislike – hey, you never know – it’s unlikely they’d care much for human beings. We fell them when they’re in the way. We cut them up to make houses and furniture. We even burn them.

That said, at least humans understand trees’ importance and appreciate the oxygen they produce “by the way.” We even have a holiday, albeit somewhat lesser known, to thank them. It’s called Arbor Day and, in 2018, it falls on April 27, five days after Earth Day.

Trees can be show-offs, too. Check out this Fall foliage and join us for Arbor Day at your favorite Virginia State ParkTrees can be show-offs, too.

Compared with Arbor Day, Earth Day is a toddler. The latter showed up in 1970; the former originated in 1872. A stout, nature-loving journalist, J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska City, launched the arboraceous day on April 10 that year. More than 1 million trees were planted that day in Nebraska because of the effort.

Although Morton was peculiarly fond of trees, shrubs and flowers, there’s a practical reason they’re especially needed in Nebraska. It’s windy there, and trees are great windbreaks. This in turn keeps soil in place. Trees provide plenty of shade, too, which many Nebraskans find agreeable, but that’s beside the point.

Happily for Virginia, the climate here is tree-friendly. Judging by the commonwealth’s quantity and variety of trees, deciduous and evergreen, it’s safe to say trees like it here.

Virginia’s 37 state parks, as you might imagine, are among the best places to find trees of all sorts. Why not visit a park this Arbor Day and thank the trees? Maybe they’d like that. You never know.

To learn about park offerings and overnight accommodations, email or call 800-933-PARK (7275).

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