Happy Arbor Day!

Tree and pond, Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring, NY. Photo by Naomi Sachs Happy Arbor Day, 2012!

It has been over 135 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day. His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever.Arbor Day Foundation

The New York Times just published a great opinion piece by Jim Robbins, titled “Why Trees Matter.” I never know which articles non-subscribers can access, so please accept my apologies if access is restricted. Below are some excerpts, just in case.

We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems. We take them for granted, but they are a near miracle. In a bit of natural alchemy called photosynthesis, for example, trees turn one of the seemingly most insubstantial things of all — sunlight — into food for insects, wildlife and people, and use it to create shade, beauty and wood for fuel, furniture and homes.

This paragraph on “forest bathing” is particularly appropriate for our Network:

In Japan, researchers have long studied what they call “forest bathing.” A walk in the woods, they say, reduces the level of stress chemicals in the body and increases natural killer cells in the immune system, which fight tumors and viruses. Studies in inner cities show that anxiety, depression and even crime are lower in a landscaped environment.

Below are some past TLN Blog posts about the role of trees in restorative landscapes:

If you can plant one thing, plant a tree

Planting the healing garden: Trees, please!

Forget the chocolate, gimme a tree

Plant a tree: A truly “green” gift

See the Arbor Day Foundation’s website for more information and ideas about how to celebrate this day: www.arborday.org/arborday