It’s Arbor Day in Michigan – a Great Time to Plant a Tree!

Arbor DayArbor Day – a holiday in which groups and individuals are encouraged to plant and care for trees — has, pardon the pun, strong Michigan roots.  Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by Michigan native, Sterling Morton.  On that day roughly 140 years ago, approximately one million trees were planted to commemorate the occasion.  Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, has proclaimed Sunday, April 22 through Saturday, April 28, 2012 as Arbor Week, and Friday, April 27, 2012 as Arbor Day in Michigan.

Michigan Tree Facts

According to the official Michigan government website (, Michigan is home to “more than 100 species of trees” and has a 3.8 million acre state forest system, the largest in the United States.” 

Tree City USA

Many Michigan communities have additionally been classified as a “Tree City USA”.  In fact, in 2011, 121 Michigan cities were recognized as Tree City USA communities.  The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. To become a Tree City USA, a community must satisfy four requirements: (1) a tree board, commission or department, (2) a tree ordinance which establishes policies for tree planting, maintenance and removal, (3) a community forestry program, and (4) an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Celebrating Arbor Day

There are many different ways to celebrate Arbor Day.  First and foremost, you could plant a tree.  You could help your local community organize an Arbor Day Event.  Perhaps you have the opportunity on this day to visit a local, state or national park.  You could spend some time with your kids or grandkids taking a walk through a local park and photographing your favorite trees.

How do you plan to spend Arbor Day in Michigan?