arbor day (14)

Plant Trees In YOUR Community

Happy Belated Arbor Day!


Volunteers are an essential part of planting and caring for trees in America's communities. Now, thanks to financial assistance from Toyota and a new partnership with, there is a quick and easy way to find opportunities to help out near where you live!


The Volunteer Center is a new part of the Arbor Day Foundation website that matches volunteers and local needs. Simply type in your ZIP code to see a list of tree- and conservation- related opportunities in your vicinity. Details about the work and how to sign up are included.


Volunteer-seeking organizations can also post their needs for volunteers and reach millions of actively engaged individuals on both and the Volunteer Center.  Learn more by checking out this special VolunteerMatch blog or visiting for resources designed specifically for volunteer-seeking organizations. 


Remember to share your volunteer opportunities on American Grove pages by pasting the volunteer opportunity link (found after you post an opportunity) on your Grove profile page.  Community members looking for volunteer opportunities on the Grove can follow this link to learn more and sign up for the event right then and there!


Together, we can inspire more and more people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.    



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This week Alaska and Maine are both celebrating their state arbor days, and both just happen to have a large, needle-bearing conifer as their state tree. Alaska’s state tree is the Sitka Spruce and Maine’s is the Eastern White Pine. Do you know which one is which?

A. This state tree may live for as long as 400-700 years and reach a height of 70 meters. It is named after an island off the coast of its native state, but is also found across northern Europe in countries such as England, Ireland, Scotland and France. Its needles are known for being stiff, flat and sharp.

B. This tree is the tallest conifer found in its region of the United States, spanning heights of up to 70 meters, like its state Arbor Day counterpart. Its cone and tassel is also the state floral symbol, with soft, flexible needles that boast an aqua-green or silver hue. The cones produced by this tree have a fragrant, sticky resin.

Answers: A – Alaska Sitka Spruce; B – Maine Eastern White Pine

[Photo credit:]

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Here are a few facts you might not know about North Dakota’s state tree, the American elm (at left).

Fact 1: American elms have been known to have canopies reaching over 70 feet in diameter, making them ideal shade trees for urban landscapes.

Fact 2: Millions of American elm have fallen victim to Dutch elm disease within the past century and continue to battle this epidemic.

Fact 3: Certain varieties of American elm, including “Valley Forge,” have shown resistance to Dutch elm disease and recovery efforts are making headway across the country.

Click here to find out more on the American elm and nationwide recovery efforts.

Here are a few interesting facts you might not know about Vermont’s state tree, the sugar maple (at left).

Fact 1: The highest concentration of maple trees (especially red and sugar maples) can be found in Vermont, versus any other U.S. state.

Fact 2: In many parts of Asia, sugar maple sap is tapped and drunk straight as a beverage during the spring months.

Fact 3: Approximately 40 gallons of sugar maple sap is required to produce only 1 gallon of syrup.

Click here for more interesting facts about the Vermont sugar maple.

[Photo credits: and]

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National Arbor Day is this Friday, April 29

Twenty-six states are celebrating their state arbor days this week. Is your state one of them?

Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska– The Cottonwood
The Wyoming plains cottonwood, or Populous sargetii, as well as the Nebraska and Kansas Eastern cottonwood, or Populous deltoids, produce seeds with a cotton-like consistency that enables them to travel long distances with the wind.

Ohio – The Ohio Buckeye
The Ohio buckeye, or Aesculus glabra, has been the state tree since 1953. But Ohians have been called “Buckeyes” since 1840, when supporters of President William Henry Harrison carved souvenirs for his campaign out of buckeye wood.

Pennsylvania – The Eastern Hemlock
The eastern hemlock, or Tsunga Canadensis, often takes 250-300 years to reach maturity and can live to be more than 800 years old.

South Dakota – The Black Hills Spruce
The black hills spruce, or Picea glauca, became the state tree of South Dakota in 1947, after both the cottonwood and juniper were considered for the title.

Utah – The Blue Spruce
The blue spruce, or Picea pungens Engelm, is common at elevations between 6,000 and 11,000 feet and can survive in areas of extreme temperature, including Utah’s Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges.

Montana – The Ponderosa Pine
The ponderosa pine, or Pinus ponderosa, is said to have large, puzzle piece-like strips of bark that make it easily identifiable. The bark of mature ponderosa pine often smells like vanilla in the heat.

Minnesota – The Red Pine
The red pine, or Pinus resinosa, is also called the Norway pine in Minnesota. Early explorers originally named the pine after a similar tree found in Norway. The name stuck as many Norwegian descendants currently live in Minnesota.

Illinois & Connecticut – The White Oak
The white oak, or Quercus alba, became the official state tree of Illinois in 1973. Although the species of the Connecticut state tree is the white oak, it is not in fact the official state tree. Connecticut named the historical Charter Oak as its state tree as a tribute to America’s colonial ancestors and their commitment to freedom and liberty. Click here for the complete story behind the Charter Oak.

Delaware – The American Holly
The American holly, or Ilex opaca Aiton, is often used in a small decorative pieces during the winter holiday season. However, many fail to realize that the American holly can grow up to 60 feet in height and is considered one of Delaware’s main forest trees.

Texas – The Pecan
The pecan tree, or Carya illinoensis, has been a key figure in American history long before it was adopted as the state tree of Texas in 1919. Fossils of the pecan tree have been found in Texas that date back to before human migration to the Americas.

Rhode Island – The Red Maple
In 1890, the red maple, or Acer rubrum, was voted to be the state tree by school children throughout the state. However, it did not officially become the state tree until 1964.

Virginia – The Flowering Dogwood
The flowering dogwood, or Cornus florida, is a small tree with blossoms in a variety of colors ranging from white to pink to yellow.

New York & Wisconsin – The Sugar Maple
The sugar maple, or Acer saccharum, is one of the largest hardwood trees and can live up to 400 years old. However, it generally will not blossom until after its first 20 or so years of life.

New Jersey – The Northern Red Oak
Although the northern red oak, or Quercus borealis maxima, is the official state tree of New Jersey, the dogwood is also recognized as the state’s memorial tree.

Michigan – The Eastern White Pine
The eastern white pine, or Pinus strobus, made Michigan the leader of the lumbering industry during the late 1800s. Due to the value of its lumber, the eastern white pine is one of the most valuable trees in North America.

Massachusetts – The American Elm
Massachusetts claimed the American elm, or Ulmus americana, as its state tree in honor of the American elm under which George Washington took command of the Continental Army in 1775 on Cambridge Common.

Idaho – The Western White Pine
The western white pine, or Pinus Monticola pinaceae, can grow in a wide range of elevations from the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains to sea level.

District of Columbia – The Scarlet Oak
The scarlet oak, or Quercus coccinea, is often confused with the pin oak. A key signifier is that the scarlet oak grows mainly in dry or rocky areas, while its look-alike prefers floodplains and swamps.

New Hampshire – The Paper Birch
The paper birch, or Betula papyrifera, gets its name from its use as writing paper. It is also known as the canoe birch as Native Americans used its bark for making canoes.

Nevada – The Singleleaf Pinon & Bristlecone Pine
The singleleaf pinon, or Pinus monophylla, was the first to be designated as the state tree of Nevada in 1959. In 1987, the bristlecone pine, or Pinus aristata, was nominated by Nevada students to share the title of state tree.

Indiana – The Tulip Poplar
The tulip poplar, or Liriodendron Tulipifera, is named for its tulip-shaped blossoms. It became the state tree of Indiana in 1931.

Iowa – The Oak
The oak, or Quercus spp., was designated the Iowa state tree in 1961. The legislature failed to specify a particular species of oak, as there are 13 native species abundant in the state of Iowa.
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Who founded National Arbor Day?

National Arbor Day is less than two weeks away and communities and individual tree enthusiasts across the country are gearing up for the celebration. But where did it all begin? Believe it or not, the inspiration for Arbor Day came from a state usually associated with the Great Plains – Nebraska, one of our newest members of The Grove community. Check out the full history of National Arbor Day here.
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To celebrate National Arbor Day on Friday, April 29, The Grove is hosting a daily, online trivia contest – and it starts today!

Each day at 12 p.m. EDT from today to April 29, we will post a blog entry with the tree-related question of the day. The first member to post the correct answer in the comments section will be awarded a $10 gift card to The Home Depot to use toward tree planting and care resources. The following day, the correct answer and winner will be announced along with the new question of the day.

Put on your thinking caps and visit us each day to test your knowledge. Your garden will thank you for the extra TLC, courtesy of your new gift card. Good luck!

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Both Washington and Colorado are celebrating their state arbor days this week on Wednesday, April 13 and Friday, April 15 respectively. Do you know which tree belongs to which state?

The Blue Spruce
The blue spruce, or Picea pungens, was named this state’s official tree in 1939, after it was first discovered on Pikes Peak. This coniferous tree ranges in color from blue to silver to green and often grows among others of its kind or alongside ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, alpine fir and other spruce.

The Western Hemlock
The western hemlock, or Tsuga heterophylla, is an evergreen coniferous tree whose abundance contributes to its state’s nickname as “the Evergreen State.” The western hemlock is native to the area of North America for which it is named and is known for its long life span. Individual western hemlocks have been recorded as being over 1,200 years old.


Which tree is which?

[Photo credit:,]


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This week’s state arbor days

Monday – Oregon
Oregon kicks off the week of state arbor days with the strength of the Douglas fir, the Oregon state tree. Named after a Scottish botanist, the Douglas fir, or Pseudotsuga menziesii, is said to produce timber stronger than concrete. In addition to its well-known strength, the Douglas fir is also known for its impressive height and can grow up to 325 feet with a 15 foot diameter trunk.







Wednesday -- Maryland
Mid-week is the perfect time to celebrate Maryland’s state tree, the white oak. The white oak, or Quercus alba, waits until mid-way through its first century of life before ever producing an acorn. Around its 50th birthday, the white oak begins dropping acorns and continues to drop approximately 10,000 ever year.


Friday – West Virginia
We finish off the week with something sweet – West Virginia’s state tree, the sugar maple. The sugar maple, or Acer saccharum, produces sap which is then used to make maple syrup and maple sugar. Each spring, West Virginians and others throughout the mid-Northeastern states tap the trunks of sugar maple trees. But making syrup isn’t as easy as it sounds. Once it’s boiled down, it takes nearly 35 gallons of sap to make just 1 gallon of maple syrup.

[Photo credit:,,]

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What do Oklahoma, Missouri and Kentucky have in common? In addition to their state arbor days being this week (Friday, April 1 for Missouri and Kentucky, and all week long for Oklahoma), they also share a common trait among their state trees. Kentucky’s tulip poplar, Oklahoma’s eastern redbud and Missouri’s flowering dogwood are all flowering state trees.


Kentucky – The Tulip Poplar

After decades of debate, it wasn’t until 1994 that Kentucky finally settled upon the tulip poplar, or Liriodendron tulipifera, as its official state tree. The tulip poplar gets its name from its tulip-like flowers; however, it is neither related to the tulip nor the poplar. Instead, the tree is a member of the magnolia family and grows rapidly to an average of 100 feet.


Missouri – The Flowering Dogwood

The flowering dogwood, or Cornus florida L., was designated the official state tree of Missouri in 1955. The flowers bloom in a variety of colors, including white, pink or yellow, depending on the tree. The tree takes on a deeper shade starting in autumn due to its red berries and the deep red hue of its leaves just before winter sets in.


Oklahoma – The Eastern Redbud

Oklahoma was the first of the three states to declare a flowering tree as its state tree in 1937. The eastern redbud, or Cerciscanadensis, is very much like its home state in being ahead of the crowd. The small deciduous tree is known not only for its pink blossoms, but also for being an early bloomer – bursting with color before most trees have even sprouted leaves.


For more info on specific trees, check out our tree match tool.


[Photo credit:,,]

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March 21 is Arkansas’ Arbor Day. The pine is the Arkansas state tree, but rather than sharing a picture of just any pine tree, we’ve posted a photograph of the loblolly pine at Mt. Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, Ark. This tree is registered in the list of Famous & Historic Trees in Arkansas by the Arkansas Famous & Historic Tree Program.


Trees on the list are, in general, more than 50 years of age and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Associated with a significant historical event
  2. Associated with a significant historical person, institution or land mark
  3. Associated with a significant horticultural, ecological or structural characteristic for the region
  4. Has potential to yield significant cultural and historical information


Click here to nominate an Arkansas tree or to see the entire list of Famous & Historic Trees in Arkansas.

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Buy your "More Trees Please" T-Shirt from ISA

Check out the latest news from International Society of Arborculture:

To commemorate Arbor Day 2011, International Society of Arborculture will launch a new T-shirt design. The shirt will feature the slogan "More Trees Please," that was chosen from suggestions submitted by ISA members.

ISA encourages members to purchase these shirts not only to help promote Arbor Day, but also promote the benefits of trees all year long. Use them as gifts to your employees and customers, give them away at an Arbor Day celebration, or wear one yourself to promote tree care. In addition, your purchase will help support tree research and education because the TREE Fund will receive $1 from every T-shirt sold.

For additional fun, we will be asking, "Who can you get to wear the shirt?" Send us a picture of someone famous wearing a "More Trees Please," T-shirt and we will post them on our ISA Facebook page.


Watch the ISA "Latest News" section of the homepage for information on when the shirts will be available for purchase.

Samantha Koon, Marketing and Member Services Director, 217.355.9411 ext. 269

Jessica Kebert, Newsletter Editor, 217.418.0946


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Friday, March 18 is Arizona and North Carolina’s Arbor Day.


Arizonans should visit the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs website for more information on its Arbor Day celebrations. Events are scheduled to take place in early April with a community celebration and tree planting in Kingman, Ariz.


For North Carolinians wanting to get involved in the Arbor Day celebrations taking place in Raleigh, N.C., visit the NC State University Forestry website. Events will be held at the State Farmers Market on Saturday, March 19 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Want to know more about your state tree before the party?


Arizona – The Palo Verde

The palo verde, or Cercidium floridum, was named the Arizona state tree in 1954. Named after the Spanish word for “green stick,” the palo verde is unlike most trees in its process of photosynthesis. The green branches and stems of the palo verde assist its leaves in generating food and energy, as the leaves are quite small and often nonexistent during periods of drought. Blooming from late March to May, palo verde blossoms add bright yellow color to the deserts and foothills of Arizona.



North Carolina – The Pine

When the North Carolina Legislature named the pine as the state tree in 1963, they left the particular type of pine unspecified. Eight different types of pine tree are native to North Carolina and considered to be part of the state tree designation, including the loblolly, longleaf, eastern white, pitch, pond, table mountain, Virginia and shortleaf pine. Due to the large number of pine forests across the state, North Carolina became the largest producer of pine-based tar, pitch, rosin and turpentine during the colonial period. This is the reason North Carolinians earned the name “Tar Heels.”


For more info on specific trees, check out our tree match tool.


[Photo credit:,]

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Arbor Day the Hot and Dry Way

Starting today, California celebrates its Arbor Day through March 14. But it’s not the only state celebrating trees this month. New Mexico’s Arbor Day is Friday, March 11. The Grove would like to take a moment to recognize the California and New Mexico state trees and provide a few resources for getting to know them. National and state parks are great destinations for Spring Break, family vacations or even a weekend getaway if you live close by. Below are a few trip tips to get the travel gears turning.


California – The Redwood and the Giant Sequoia

In 1937, the California Legislature named the “native redwood” as the state tree. As it turns out, there are two redwoods native to California. To clarify the situation, California officially declared both the giant Sequoia, or the Sequoiadendron gigantean, and the redwood, or Sequoia sempervirens, as the state tree in 1953. Both the giant Sequoia and the redwood are known around the world for their enormous size and age. California’s famous giant Sequoia, General Sherman, is the largest tree in the world by volume and stands at 275 feet high with a diameter of more than 36 feet at its base.


Trip Tips:

Visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Visit General Sherman


New Mexico – The Piñon

New Mexico named the pi­ñon, or Pinus edulis, as its state tree in March 1949 at the same time that it selected the roadrunner as the state bird. The piñon received its common name from the Spanish word for a large pine seed and is commonly found in the Southwest. The dry climate of New Mexico fits the drought-resistant nature of the piñon perfectly. Although their lightly flavored seeds are the most valuable and highly demanded product, the piñon’s yellow wood is also used as fuel.


Trip Tips:

Visit one of New Mexico’s many state parks, including Bluewater Lake State Park, where piñon trees scatter the hillsides


For more info on specific trees, check out our tree match tool

[Photo credit:,]

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South Carolina’s Palmetto

In honor of South Carolina’s Arbor Day on Dec. 3, we’re highlighting the palmetto, the state tree (even though it’s a tree-like monocot). The palmetto, also called cabbage palmetto, sabal palmetto and sabal palm (Inodes palmetto, formerly Sabal palmetto), gives South Carolina its nickname of the Palmetto State. The palmetto is also the state tree of Florida.

In South Carolina, the tree is honored for the role it played in the defense of Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor against the British fleet on June 28, 1776. The soft palmetto logs of which the fort was constructed absorbed the British cannon balls and thus protected the fort. When South Carolina seceded from the Union in 1861, the palmetto was added to the state's national flag – and it still remains today.

[Photo credit:]

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