The last Friday in April is more than just the beginning of the weekend. It is also traditionally the day that our country celebrates Arbor Day. Have you ever celebrated Arbor Day? Do you know why we celebrate Arbor Day? Here are a few fun facts:
Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1894 in Nebraska and was the idea of J. Sterling Morton, who was at the time Secretary of the Nebraska Territory. Morton was a tree enthusiast and proposed a tree planting holiday to the State Board of Agriculture. He believed that civic groups as well as individuals should plant trees on Arbor Day. Great idea – it’s estimated that on the first Arbor Day more than 1 million trees were planted!
As we come upon Arbor Day 2021, large gatherings to plant trees may still be on hold, but you can certainly plant one in your yard. Another idea would be to visit some of our country’s famous trees. See the list below and get ready to “leaf” for a tree-loving trip!
Angel Oak, South Carolina: If you’re visiting the Oaks at Point South RV Campground, you’re just about an hour’s drive to Johns Island, which is home to Angel Oak. This magnificent oak tree is simply massive, providing 17,000 square feet of shade! It is considered one of the oldest trees east of the Mississippi River, estimated to be over 300-years-old, and stands 66.5 feet tall. Angel Oak is a Southern live oak, which is known to only grow upwards, but when you see the winding limbs spread out and around, you’ll know this is one unique tree. For details, visit angeloaktree.com.
Endicott Pear Tree, Massachusetts: If your plans include a visit to our Massachusetts campgrounds, you’ll be able to visit the Endicott Pear Tree, which is a little over an hour’s drive from any of our Bay State campgrounds. Imagine a tree from which John Adams once ate one of the pears or one that weathered almost 400 years of harsh New England winters, several hurricanes, summer heat, and even an act of human vandalism. The Endicott Pear Tree is believed to be the oldest living cultivated fruit tree in America. It was planted sometime in the mid-1640s by John Endicott and continues to produce fruit to this day! Endicott and his estate are long gone, and the tree now stands next to a commercial building in Danvers, Massachusetts, protected by a wrought iron fence, but is still working away!
Lady Liberty, Florida: This grand lady is a 2000-year-old Bald Cypress tree and can be found in Big Tree Park in Florida, which is located about 20 miles north of Orlando. Book a stay at the Orlando RV Campground and visit Lady Liberty and this beautiful park. Sadly, Lady Liberty lost a close relative, the Senator, a 3500-year-old Bald Cypress, in 2012 to fire. Walk along the boardwalk and see the memorial to the Senator and the soaring 89-foot-tall Lady Liberty, which stands just 40 feet from where the Senator once stood. For information, visit seminolecountyfl.gov/locations/Big-Tree-Park.stml.
The Lone Cypress: One of the most photographed trees in North America, the iconic Lone Cypress, can be found along the beautiful 17-Mile Drive along California’s Monterey Peninsula. Estimated to be around 250 years old, the Lone Cypress is a testament to the hardiness of the cypress tree, withstanding years and years of Pacific storms on its granite outcropping. Plan a stay at San Benito RV Campground and enjoy a leisurely drive to see the photo-worthy Lone Cypress.