| Share

Arbor Day In New Zealand



The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States by J. Sterling Morton and on April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska.

The 5th of June is celebrated every year in New Zealand as Arbor Day and the significance of this particular day is not lost on Jerrod from Give Plants. As he says, “Trees play an important role in moderating our climate, improving our air quality, controlling floodwaters and providing homes and food for our unique wildlife”.  Jerrod encourages people to “Plant a tree and grow our future and take care of the carbon in our atmosphere by planting a native tree in the back yard and by volunteering to join or start a community conservation project.”

Every year Arbor Day is held on the 5th of June to draw attention to the importance of trees in our society but how significant is the day and is New Zealand really as clean and green as we would like to think it is? Unfortunately, Arbor Day in New Zealand probably went by without many of us realising it was happening which is a shame because it is all about inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States by J. Sterling Morton and on April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska.

New Zealand's first Arbor Day planting was in Greytown in the Wairarapa on 3 July 1890 and the first official celebration took place in Wellington in August 2012, with the planting of pohutukawa and Norfolk pines along Thorndon Esplanade.

Dr Leonard Cockayne who is generally recognised as the greatest botanist who has lived, worked, and died in New Zealand, worked extensively on native plants throughout New Zealand and wrote many notable botanical texts. Even as early as the 1920s he held a vision for school students of New Zealand to be involved in planting native trees and plants in their school grounds. This vision bore fruit and schools in New Zealand have long planted native trees on Arbor Day.

Many of Department of Conservation’s Arbor Day activities focus on ecological restoration projects using native plants to restore habitats that have been damaged or destroyed by humans or invasive pests and weeds. There are great restoration projects underway around New Zealand and many organisations including community groups, landowners, conservation organisations, iwi, volunteers, schools, local businesses, nurseries and councils are involved in them. These projects are part of a vision to protect and restore the indigenous biodiversity.

Make every day an Arbor Day by contacting Jerrod at Give Plants to send a ‘living gift’ to a corporate client or to friends or family. Go to http://www.giveplants.co.nz to send a live plant.