We look to the sky for signs of spring. Brighter, sunnier days, birds in flight and tall trees budding with the foliage to come. By this time next month, the Cherry Blossoms – our first flowering trees -- will be showing their fragrant April blooms. It’s a great time to appreciate all the natural beauty that surrounds us in Northern New Jersey!
Trees are an important part of the New Jersey landscape – and nationwide. Friday, April 24 is Arbor Day. Arbor Day is not only observed in the U.S.; it is a worldwide holiday where citizens of all countries are encourage to plant and care for trees. Arbor Day spreads a universal message of caring for and nurturing trees, a vital part of our ecosystem. Trees have always been important in our country. In Western states, trees were vital for keeping soil in place and providing shade from the hot sun in the Great Plains states, where trees were scarce. On the first Arbor Day in 1872, over one million trees were planted in Nebraska. Today in China, a national effort is underway to plant a ‘green wall’ of one billion trees to stop the marching spread of desert from the country’s interior.
In New Jersey, the ‘Garden State’, trees have always been abundant. Our state tree, the Northern Red Oak, was chosen to represent our state in 1950 (by then Governor Driscoll) and our memorial state tree is the Dogwood. Trees and agriculture are still vital to New Jersey’s economy. Nearly 1 million acres of New Jersey is used today as farmland and the state ranks high nationally in the production of most vegetables.
Keeping New Jersey ‘green’ is important. Interested in getting involved? Join the non-profit organization called The New Jersey Tree Foundation. Their program, The Memorial Tree Program is dedicated to helping plant trees in under-served neighborhoods. Check them out and plant a tree! And if you want to plant a tree in your own backyard, call the experts at Antine Landscape Design today.