Arbor Day

What other activities can we do for Arbor Week?

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Celebrate Oregon Arbor Week - 1st Week in April

Planting more trees is only part of the solution. Clearly, we need to better care for the trees already in the ground! Are the trees in your yard, at school, in the local park healthy? Are they getting the water, nutrients, sunlight, and room to grow that they need? How can you tell? Can you tell the different kinds of trees apart? Learning to identify the trees in and around our communities is always a rewarding activity.

One of the best tree books for beginners is: Trees of North America: A Field Guide to Identification by C. Frank Brockman, Golden Press, 1986. For the forest trees, you can also use Trees to Know in Oregon by Edward C. Jensen & Charles R. Ross, published by OSU Extension, 1994. Staff members from local nurseries, landscape services, forestry offices, or colleges can help you identify the hard-to-tell trees and provide technical support and advice.

Find out what conditions the trees in your area need to grow and thrive. Each species has slightly different requirements— tree books found in the “gardening” section usually contain this kind of information.

What can you do to help trees survive? The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) publishes a variety of tree brochures. Check out their web site or write for the excellent “Oregon Homeowner's Guide to Tree Care” and “Selecting, Planting, and Caring for a New Tree” at:

ODF, Public Affairs,
2600 State Street
Salem, OR 97310.

Here are some fun ideas:

Take photos of your favorite trees, keep a master checklist of all the different trees you can find during the year, design a neighborhood “tree tour,” publish your own tree book, make a leaf collection for the library, create a video biography of a local tree, host a “Tree Bee” identification contest, contact other schools and trade leaves, raise money to buy trees or donate to local tree planting organizations, start a tree club, build a tree house in your classroom, use the internet to study tree holidays in other countries, make drawings of the common “arboreal” animals found in your area, set up a tree display at the local grocery store or community festival, order tree books for each classroom, grow little trees in pots to sell as a fund-raiser or give them away as prizes, pick a tree as your new school mascot, organize a “Tree Film Festival” (remember the great trees in the Wizard of Oz? Lord of the Rings? Swiss Family Robinson? Return of the Jedi? Jurassic Park?), subscribe to or start your own tree magazine, visit or write to all the public gardens and arboretums in the region. Then, after lunch...

Here are some other suggestions from the Arbor Day Foundation:

  • Organize a shelf for the school or community library that highlights all the books about trees. Create a bingo card of tree books and have a tree planting ceremony at the library for everyone who completes the card.
  • Have a contest that recognizes the oldest tree of each species in your community. Tie a green ribbon around the trees estimated to be over 125 years old.
  • Download the historical Arbor Day documents from the internet arborday.org and compare the old celebrations to the ones in your community.
  • Get people together to think and talk about trees. Ask retirement homes to invite children to plant a tree on the grounds and give residents a chance to talk about Arbor Days when they were children.
  • Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way by planting a tree yourself. It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment of stewardship. Anyone can do it.

For more information, contact:

Rick Zenn, Education Director
World Forestry Center
4033 SW Canyon Rd
Portland, OR 97221 USA
(503) 228-1367

Oregon and the Arbor Day Foundation

View more about Oregon from The Arbor Day Foundation