Outdoor Services Crew

Monday, April 20, 2015

Arbor Day--Now you know Latin!

I was curious about Arbor Day so I began reading a lot of articles about it.  I wanted to know when the first one was held and why.  My thought was that the holiday had to be named after someone famous named Arbor.  Nope...no Mr. Arbor was involved.

Then  I discovered Arbor was the Latin word for tree.  Who knows Latin?  Turns out, J. Sterling Morton did.  He moved to Nebraska in 1854 from New York to become the editor of the Nebraska City News.  Nebraska wasn't even a state yet.

Morton didn't have a grand plan, he just wanted his new home in Nebraska to have trees around it.  So, he and his wife began digging, planting and watering.  Soon their efforts were observed by others in the area who began to do the same thing.  Viola...Arbor Day!

Well, it didn't happen that fast.  Morton's first trees were planted at his home in 1854 and the first Arbor Day in the United States wasn't until April 10, 1872 but the idea of planting trees in the barren Nebraska land grew over the years.  Arbor Day even became law in Nebraska in 1885.

Planting trees caught on all over the United States.  Politicians used Arbor Day in their campaigns.  Everyone was planting trees, at least once a year.  Then, the day became less popular and a few decades passed with fewer Arbor Day parades and fanfare.

Keith Wood, from CO State Forest Service presents TCUSA 2014 certificate to CU Arboist, Vince Aquino  (April 18, 2015)
Fast forward to present day and a renewed vigor for all things natural.  We're in Boulder after all!

Alan Nelson, Senior Grounds Specialist (now retired), was the driving force getting the University of Colorado certified with Tree Campus USA (TCUSA) in 2010.  Every year since, CU has qualified and received a certificate showing it has engaged its students and campus community in promoting and maintaining trees.
University of Colorado Students: Holding flag left: James Watt; right Bodie Hultin. Standing from left to right:  Elizabeth Seaver, Joaquin Lagarrigue, Shannon Votaw, Erin Hauer, Emma Friesland, Grayson O'Roark, Caitlin Keller, Drew Holler, Asia Peters.  In back:  Keith Wood (CO State Forest Service), Vince Aquino (CU Arborist)  
CU celebrated Arbor Day on Saturday, April 18th.  Arborists Vince Aquino and Joel Serafin led a group of students and staff planting several trees on the Business Field (northwest side).  Keith Wood from the Colorado State Forest Service presented the University with its 2014 TCUSA certificate.  Thanks to the many students who took part.  Snow and rain did not deter them.  They are truly an inspiration as a group ready to safe guard our environment.  Great turn out by SALA (Student Association of Landscape Architects)! 

This year the official date for National Arbor Day is April 24th.  There will be a lot of digging, and planting by groups all over the United States.  Their goal will be to ensure safety, landscape needs and healthy homes for their new trees.

Fun Facts:  (1) an estimated one million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day in Nebraska. (2) The First World Arbor Day was held in 1805 in Villanueva de la Sierra, a small Spanish town. (3)  There is an Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, NE (4) Colorado's State tree is the Blue Spruce.  (5)  There are 92 Tree City USAs in Colorado, (Boulder has been a Tree City for 30 years). (6)  Colorado Arbor Day was April 17, 2015.

Utilities and irrigation lines were marked.  Students had to move snow to flag sites for new trees! (April 17, 2015)

Then the digging began.  Time to move the dirt. 

Once Vince Aquino, CU Arborist, explained the best method for planting trees, the students carefully put all six trees in the ground.  The trees are now growing on the Northwest corner of the Business Field.  (2 State Street Maples, 1 Bur Oak and 3 Montmorency Cherries)
Coming up next:  Let the water flow!