The short answer is this: Since the holiday involves tree planting, one needs to carefully plan what varieties of trees will be planted, how many will be planted, and where they will be planted. The shorter answer is that the very first Arbor Day in the United States was celebrated on April 10, 1874.
When J. Sterling Morton and his wife Caroline first arrived in Nebraska Territory in 1854 they found a land mostly devoid of trees. Morton was the editor of the Nebraska City News and was the president of the Board of Agriculture. In January of 1872, Morton first officially proposed a tree planting holiday for the new state of Nebraska.
Two years later, Arbor Day was celebrated statewide on April tenth, then, two days later, the governor proclaimed that date as a Nebraska holiday. Throughout the 1870s several other states began celebrating their own versions of arbor day on various dates. In the South, some celebrations happen in January or February; further north some states observe it in May. The latest celebration is South Carolina’s observance on the First Friday of December. National Arbor Day is on the last Friday of April.
This year, I have no trees to plant. Instead, I’ve decided to spend some quality time with the trees, clean up around them, and make sure they’re healthy. The whole month of April is a good time to pay extra attention to the trees around me. By the time the 29th rolls around, they’ll hopefully be at their best.
“Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.”