“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the next best time is today!” ~ Chinese Proverb
Welcome to Tree Day! Tree Day takes place on the third Wednesday of September every year! Tree Day is a celebration of all the amazing and important benefits trees provide like clean air, soil stabilizations, shelter, food for wildlife and more! From the majestic Douglas firs that tower over us in the temperate rain forests of the west coast to the mighty hemlocks that grace our mixed-wood forests to the red pines that stand proud in the east, one thing is certain—trees form the beautiful backbone of our natural heritage.
National Tree Day provides us all with an opportunity to celebrate these beautiful ancient giants, which provide so many benefits that some take for granted. Not only do trees provide two of life’s essentials—food and oxygen—but they also provide clean air, shelter and habitat for our native wildlife. Trees also contribute to the environment by improving air quality and preserving soil. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 0.4 hectares (one acre) of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and emits four tons of clean oxygen. How’s that for a breath of fresh air? Through their respiration process trees also filter the air by removing dust and other pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. A tree’s far-reaching roots can hold soil in place and help combat erosion; they also absorb and store rainwater, which can reduce runoff and sediment deposits after a hefty storm. Fallen leaves from our deciduous friends also enrich the nutrient content of its surrounding soil.
And if all those environmental benefits aren’t enough, consider the value of trees within our communities: they bring natural elements and wildlife habitat into our ever-expanding urban settings and create a peaceful environment within many a concrete jungle. Trees frame landscapes, create beautiful backgrounds and are consistently used to enhance building designs. They improve communities by helping to screen unsightly views, acting as sound barriers (well-placed trees can reduce up to 50 per cent of bothersome noise and can mask some noises with pleasant natural sounds) and providing privacy.
Finally, think about this: how many of your childhood memories include the trees in your backyard or neighbourhood? And as our communities grow, how many of those trees have been lost? There is a certain spiritual connection that can be forged with the trees and forests that surround us, and it can be hard when we lose these ‘living monuments’ that symbolize our bond with nature. We only need to step under the dense canopy of a forest to feel a sense of peace and relaxation inspired by the regal stature of the trees that surround us. Many people choose to plant new trees in urban settings as memorials of life-changing events, bringing a piece of the wild into their own backyard.
Become part of the movement and take part in this year’s Tree Day celebrations:
- Sign the pledge that you’ll plant a tree this fall and share it on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram with the hashtag #TreeDay and tag @CWF_FCF.
- Celebrate Tree Day by symbolically adopting an animal who makes its home in a woodland or forest like the black bear, red fox, and spotted owl. Proceeds help CWF’s habitat conservation efforts.
- Participate in CWF’s By Popular Vote! Monthly Photo Contest. The theme? Tree Day! Submit a picture of your favourite tree or treed area. You can also share it on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram with the hashtag #TreeDay and tag @CWF_FCF.
- Share a picture of an outdoor area with trees that holds a special place in your heart with us on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram and hashtag it with #TreeDay
- Download Leafsnap on your iPhone for FREE and start identifying tree species from photographs of their leaves on your outdoor outings. The app was created with the support of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
- Encounter a plant or wildlife that you can’t identify? Download iNaturalist Canada on your iPhone for FREE and be part of a Canadian Community that will help identify plant and wildlife species.
Happy Tree Day!
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