April 30th Arbor day: Let’s plant a bare-root tree!
April 30th Arbor day: Let’s plant a bare-root tree!
“Arbor Day...is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes in the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.” —J. Sterling Morton, the father of Arbor Day.
Arbor day means “tree day” from Latin. This is a special day to raise awareness of the importance of trees in our natural environment and also to celebrate the planting, upkeep and preservation of trees across the world. One of the attributes of Arbor Day is planting trees which are best done at certain times of the year. As a result, the day is celebrated on different dates around the world, depending on local seasons and temperature. Arbor Day is typically celebrated on the last Friday in April in the United States and this year is on Friday, April 30 which appears to have ideal weather conditions to plant trees.
History of Arbor day
The first Arbor Day in the world was proposed in the 19th century by J. Sterling Morton, an American journalist and politician. This day is the pioneer of recognizing and taking action for environmental and community stewardship and sustainability. Thanks to Morton’s passion for trees and love of nature, the first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska, United States. He created this holiday to encourage individuals and nations to plant trees. The tradition rapidly began to spread when the government offered prizes to communities and individuals that planted the most number of trees correctly, exalting their value of providing shade, soil stabilization, windbreaks, and material for fuel and building. Within 20 years, Arbor Day had been widely known as a tree planting day throughout the nation and was celebrated in every state. In 1883, the concept of Arbor Day was introduced to Japan and continued to influence the creation of Arbor Days across Europe, Canada and Australia. Morton’s passion and dreams were a wild success as Arbor day continues with us to this day in 2021, and inspires people to carry on the word to protect, nurture, and celebrate our precious trees.
Why is Arbor Day important today?
While most holidays celebrate some memorable thing that has already happened, Arbor Day focuses on hope for the future. Even though Arbor Day has been celebrated for well over 100 years, the spirit of Arbor day remains strong until today as consumers increasingly become environmentally conscious. Deforestation and its long term damage to our environment have influenced our attitudes toward environmental issues and made us realize how the importance of having trees and the role that they play. The simple act of planting a tree helps clean the air and water, provide homes for wildlife, conserve energy, create a healthier environment and endless natural beauty — all for a better tomorrow.
Looking for a way to celebrate Arbor day this year?
Arbor Day represents an opportunity to strengthen the bond among family members by planting trees together. Planting trees will also provide us with fundamental and enjoyable lessons about stewardship of our natural resources and caring for our environment. If you are looking for a type of tree to plant in your yard, a bare root tree could be a good option to celebrate this amazing day with your family.
Why a bare-root tree?
“Bare-root” means that the trees are not grown in a pot and they do not have any soil around their roots. Generally, bare-root trees are shipped to nurseries and have been nurtured there for two years before they're sold, so we will get a good-sized tree that is ready to grow once we plant. Due to their lightweight, these trees can be shipped directly to your door using general parcel delivery services which makes it an easy plant to handle. While it may seem odd to plant a tree with roots not contained in soil, it turns out to have a better performance to grow than spring-planted container trees. As roots aren't transitioning from container soil to local soil, bare-root trees frequently take off quicker. Besides, local nurseries usually have a wider range of bare-root trees than containerized ones since bare-root specimens require less space. In this way, we will discover a greater selection of fruit trees and other edible crop trees. Without the labour required for potting and maintaining a containerized tree, bare-root trees are considered as cost-saving trees which cost 30-50% less than a container-grown tree of the same size.
Here are tips on how to plant a bare-root tree—from ordering a tree to watering the tree.
Ordering a tree
The bare-root season for ornamental trees and fruit trees is in the fall or early spring. As they are shipped without any soil, they inevitably lose some of their roots and the roots are usually clipped back before dispatch, and that makes them arrive in a state of shock (water loss), requiring immediate care.
Unpack the tree
In case you are unable to plant trees within 24 hours of arrival, unpack the plants and cover their roots with wet newspaper so that the roots will remain cool and damp to hold back growth. If you are ready to plant the trees after they arrive, make sure to soak the roots in the water for 12 to 24 hours before planting to replace the moisture lost during shipping.
Dig the hole
A hole at least twice the width and depth of the root mass is necessary. This allows you to carefully spread out the roots without bending or breaking them.
Prepare the soil
Mixing hard (clay) soil with all-natural coconut fibre (coir) medium can increase air circulation. It is vital to put some of the topsoils into the bottom of the hole as it will do the best there. Form it into a mound and drape the roots over it to encourage growth.
Place the tree
If your trees are made from two different varieties joined together, which means there is a little bump or angle near the base where the top tree was attached to the rootstock, make sure this part faces north and is at least 2 to 3 inches above the soil level.
Backfill the hole
When the hole is half full, water well and let it soak in. Then, continue to fill the hole using the remaining topsoil first and the subsoil last. Tamp it down firmly and water again.
Stake the tree
Drive the stake loosely through the root ball into the ground underneath until the roots get set up.
Water the tree
Watering is essential during the first season to ensure the root ball area does not dry out. Make sure your tree grows at least one inch a week.
There are many more ways we can celebrate this great day. If you are thinking of planting other types of trees, the Arbor Day Foundation provides great resources about tree information on their website and this Know Before You Grow brochure. Keep in mind that only one tree can make a difference! Now, mark it on your calendars. It’s a time to plant and show your trees some love! Want to get more ideas to celebrate Arbor Day? Check out this link from Arbor day foundation!