Plant a tree this year for Arbor Day

Plant a tree this year for Arbor Day

Photo by Noppadol Paothong

With spring finally here, tree enthusiasts are reminding you to plant a tree this month in honor of Arbor Day.

Missouri celebrates the annual tree-planting holiday Arbor Day on the first Friday of April, which this year fell on April 2. But nationally, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April, which will be April 27 this year.

Some states celebrate separate Arbor Days based on what day is best for planting trees in their state.

One third of Missouri is covered in trees.

“The (Missouri) Conservation Commission encourages everyone to celebrate Arbor Days in Missouri by planting native trees and taking care of the trees we have,” said Commission Chair Don Bedell.

Missouri’s official state tree is the flowering dogwood, a small, spring-flowering tree that is often used in landscaping. It grows naturally in Missouri along wooded slopes, bluffs, upland ridges and old fields.

Anyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization, in April will receive 10 free shade trees.

By joining the Arbor Day Foundation in April, new members receive the following trees: red oak, sugar maple, weeping willow, bald cypress, thornless honeylocust, pin oak, river birch, tuliptree, silver maple and red maple.

The free trees are part of the foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

“These trees provide shade in the summer and vibrant colors throughout the fall,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Through the simple act of planting trees, one person can make a difference in helping to create a healthier and more beautiful planet for all of us to enjoy.”

The trees will be shipped postpaid with enclosed planting instructions at the right time for planting in April or May. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

To become a member of the foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Shade Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by April 30, or visit