Gardening in Florida: Florida Arbor Day 2022

National Tree Day is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April. However, here in Florida, the state legislature of 1945 designated the third Friday in January as Florida Arbor Day. This year, 2022, Florida Arbor Day is January 21. So go ahead and plant! This is the time of year when the climate is optimal for planting trees.

Arbor Day is a reminder that all plants, trees, shrubs, herbs and even phytoplankton containing chlorophyll in the oceans are essential for life on this planet. It is common knowledge that oxygen, one of the byproducts of photosynthesis, allows us to breathe.

However, just as or more importantly, green chlorophyll is the substance that traps all the energy that arrives on this planet. It is the energy that we all use to live, love and grow. Whether we burn phytochemicals in the form of petroleum products to fuel all kinds of exertion or eat kale to fuel our busy lives, the transfer of energy from light to carbohydrates made by chlorophyll sustains life and enables our existence.

Trees are an integral part of the web of life and deserve a day of recognition and celebration. J. Sterling Morton is the founder of Ardor Day. The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska in 1872 in response to a state proclamation urging settlers and settlers to plant trees to provide shade, shelter, fruit, fuel and beauty to the people. inhabitants of the largely treeless plains.

Morton said: “… let us therefore strive with our words on Arbor Day – and all other opportune occasions – to beautify the world with plants, trees, flowers and foliage, so as to make our earthen homes akin to those that prophets, poets, and seers of all ages have portrayed as the house in heaven. ”On that first Arbor Day, over a million trees were planted in communities and farms in Nebraska.

Trees are precious in many ways.

  • Trees are natural filters for air and groundwater. They remove carbon dioxide and pollutants from the environment; a single tree can absorb 26 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Trees can help reduce air conditioning and heating bills. Properly placed trees help conserve energy by shading and cooling buildings in the summer and blocking the cold winds in the winter. The cooling effect attributed to the trees translates into an annual saving of $ 2 billion, or about 5% of the energy consumption of the United States.
  • In addition to their practical value, trees have aesthetic value. They add various colors, shapes, textures and patterns to the landscape. Well-placed trees have a welcoming effect, provide privacy and serve as a ceiling for outdoor spaces.
  • The land value of landscaped homes is 5 to 20% higher than that of non-landscaped homes.
  • Trees provide habitats for wildlife – birds, mammals and reptiles.
  • The hairy leaf surfaces of trees trap and filter ash, dust and airborne pollen particles.
  • Trees provide forest products including lumber, paper, mulch, oils, gums, syrups, and fruits, adding more than $ 7.9 billion a year to Florida’s economy .

Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way. Buy a Trees Are Cool license plate – Join or follow the Florida Urban Forestry Council – Plant a tree yourself, one for a friend and one for your community. Make sure the kids get their hands dirty and have fun all.

Carol Cloud Bailey is a landscape consultant and horticulturalist. Send your questions to [email protected] or visit for more information.

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