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date 12/20/00

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

Hold For January 1, 2001 Release

Nebraska City, Neb. -- Now, for the first time, the American public has the opportunity to vote for a national symbol. The National Arbor Day Foundation is hosting a process that makes it possible for people to vote for America's National Tree, either by visiting the Foundation's website,, or through the mail.

"America has the grandest trees on earth -- the largest, the oldest, and we think, the most beautiful," John Rosenow, president of The National Arbor Day Foundation, said. "It's time for the American people to select a national tree as an enduring symbol of all of our magnificent trees, and of our natural heritage."

The United States has a national emblem, the bald eagle, a national anthem, the "Star Spangled Banner," a national motto, "In God We Trust," a national flower, the rose, even a national march, "Stars and Stripes Forever."

But a national tree has not yet been designated.

The voting process hosted by the Arbor Day Foundation will make it possible for Americans of all walks of life to help select the tree that will best serve as this important national symbol.

People can vote directly on the Arbor Day Foundation's web site,, which contains educational material on the list of tree candidates. People are invited to visit, learn more about each broad tree type or genus, and then cast their vote.

Online voting will take place from January 1, 2001, through midnight before National Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, April 27, 2001.

People without Internet access can mail their vote to America's National Tree, The National Arbor Day Foundation, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by April 1, 2001. Include your name and address on a 3 x 5" card and the tree of your choice. The Foundation will add these votes to those made online.

"Voting for America's National Tree is important for many reasons," Rosenow said. "For one, schoolchildren will have their
first opportunity to vote for something of national significance. Our web site includes classroom activities relating to the Vote for America's National Tree, and a special voting process for schools.

"The United States is blessed with a wealth of tree species, more than twice as many as in all of Europe. It is important that we plant the right tree in the right place, if they are to have their greatest environmental and economic value. Our web site helps people select the right tree for planting according to factors such as their local hardiness zone, and soil, sun, and moisture conditions. visitors also learn how to plant trees correctly, to prune them as they grow, and other important aspects of tree care."

The results of the vote will be announced on National Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska and throughout the nation. Then America's National Tree can take its place with those which have been designated in countries around the world.

The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship. More information on the Foundation and the Vote for America's National Tree is available online at


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