Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Arbour Week has become Arbour Month – stock up on Acacia galpinii before September!

As of the 1st September 2009 National Arbour week has been extended to National Arbour month thanks to the lobbying by FTFA ( Food and Trees for Africa ) on behalf of communities, schools, companies and individuals who take a special interest in planting trees at this time. In South Africa, Arbour day was first introduced in 1983 to raise awareness and interest in growing trees, and, due to its enormous popularity, was extended to Arbour week in 1997 and now in 2009 - Arbour month. The idea for Arbour day originated in Nebraska and was introduced by J. Sterling Morton. When on moving to this area from Detroit, he became aware of the need for planting trees to hold the soil, create windbreaks, provide fuel and building material, as well as for shelter from summer’s heat. Eventually Arbour day gained popularity and is now celebrated by numerous countries worldwide.

In South Africa, many of Arbour month’s events are organised by FTFA and the Department of Water and Forestry with the aim of educating the population on the important role that trees play in our environment. Trees are the largest and longest living organisms on our planet and without them people could not survive. Trees supply the most basic elements of life such as water vapour, oxygen, food, fuel and shelter as well as providing an efficient way to offset the carbon emissions of our modern world, that are a major contributor to global warming. In order to restore our ecosystems and improve our urban and rural environment, it is imperative that we all plant as many trees as possible, thereby creating a healthier planet for all, now, and into the future.

Acacia galpinii is the 2009 tree of the year and is featured in this month’s TreeCo Tree Review.

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