5/01/2010

Every Day Is Arbor Day

“A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit."

- Greek proverb

I noticed a mention of Arbor Day recently and was reminded to pay homage to this vitally important, but underappreciated day of planting and celebrating all things dendro. Here at VIBT we are celebrating the trees 24/7, not only because they are amazing in their own right, but also because of their contribution to our lives.

Lester Brown, founder of WorldWatch Institute, said, "protecting the earth’s nearly 4 billion hectares of remaining forests and replanting those already lost are both essential for restoring the earth’s health, an important foundation for the new economy. Reducing rainfall runoff and the associated flooding and soil erosion, recycling rainfall inland, and restoring aquifer recharge depend on simultaneously reducing pressure on forests and on reforestation."

He proposes we use our forest resources more wisely as civilization as we know it may depend on it. It has been fairly well established that trees are necessary for civilization to take place. No trees, no civilization. Many a collapse has been precipitated by cutting the last trees in a particular region.
"Productive orchards of olive trees meant that a foundation of the great empires of Greece and Rome had arisen and developed into complex economic and political forces. It is interesting to note that the historical decline of these empires corresponded to the destruction of their olive tree orchards that reduced the available supplies of olives, olive oil, olive wood, and olive soap." From: Explore Crete
Trees don't just keep human civilization humming along, they also provide habitat for thousands of other life forms. Trees are the lungs of the planet, and they are also just darn beautiful. I know I am not alone, not only because people are accessing VIBT daily in their quest to learn about trees, but also because of the existence of Arbor Day globally.


Canada's Forested Regions



Arbor Day is not celebrated at the same time of the year even within the same country. Take Canada for example - its national Arbor Day is called "Maple Leaf Day" and takes place on the last Wednesday in September, during National Forest Week. Tree-covered British Columbia does not have an Arbor Day celebration of its own, and Ontario celebrates not on one day, but over a whole week which is observed from the last Friday of April to Mother's Day.

So don't wait for any particular day before you plant, honour, and thank the trees. Do it today, and imagine what your life might be like without trees. More than likely it would be short and a lot less diverse.

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