3 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day in Seattle

Arbor Day is an annual holiday we look forward to all year. But what if you can't plant a tree? Are there other ways we can celebrate Arbor Day? Read on for three great alternative ways you can celebrate Arbor Day!

Arbor Day is just around the corner. Celebrated nationally every year on the last Friday of April, this year’s Arbor Day falls on April 28th. But just what exactly is Arbor Day?

The answer is simple! Arbor Day is a day to celebrate our love for trees! Originally founded in Nebraska in 1872 by then Secretary of Agriculture J. Sterling Morton, Arbor Day has since grown into a civic holiday observed by countries around the world. While the occurrence of such an event is often variable across borders (due to different climates and planting seasons), it seems that just about everyone is happy to take a day to appreciate trees, and many even take the time to plant one!

Today, the Arbor Day Foundation® is a non-profit organization dedicated to overseeing Arbor Day nationally here in the United States. Inspired by their mission to “inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees,” the Arbor Day Foundation® has since grown to be the largest non-profit organization dedicated to tree planting. On top of organizing and promoting Arbor Day, the foundation also hosts the Tree City USA program, a project dedicated to recognizing communities that go above and beyond in their commitment to sustainable urban forestry practices. You’ll be pleased to note that Seattle has been recognized as a Tree City for over 32 years, one of the oldest of such recognized communities in the country!

Tree Campus USA, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3 Alternative Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day

As you’ve probably guessed by now, Arbor Day is one of our favorite holidays here at Seattle Tree Care. We see Arbor Day as an opportunity to reflect on why we love trees and to show our appreciation for the ways they improve our lives. But what if planting a tree isn’t an option for you? Are there other ways to celebrate Arbor Day?

We can relate to this dilemma. While Arbor Day is celebrated as a day for planting new spring trees, in Seattle, fall is the prime tree-planting season.

So instead of tilling the soil this Arbor Day, we’ve compiled a list of three alternative ways you can celebrate Arbor Day in the Pacific Northwest. These include:

  1. Learning about the trees on your property
  2. Volunteering with the Green Seattle Partnership
  3. Supporting the Arbor Day Foundation

Learn About the Trees on Your Property

Stewardship starts in your own backyard. Whether you have one tree or fifty, learning how to take care of them in their environment is an important step in being a responsible tree owner. Before you determine what a tree needs to thrive, you need to know which species it is.

An easy way to identify a tree without the help of an Arborist is to use the camera on your smartphone. There are several good plant ID apps available for download, and iPhones even have this function already built in.

Once you’ve identified the trees on your property, you can learn about the common issues they face and how you can monitor your trees for diseases, pests, and safety hazards.

Check out this video demonstrating the plant ID feature on your iPhone, or head over to your app store to get a plant ID app.

If you’re looking for professional assistance with identifying your trees and what issues they face in our environment, consider a Tree Inventory.

A tree inventory service provides property owners with a survey and information about their trees. This helpful info includes the tree species, health, its protected status, and personalized care recommendations for each species.

Volunteers planted trees at Minikahda Vista Park during the NeighborWoods Kick-Off Event in St Louis Park, Minnesota. (Craig Lassig/AP Images for Arbor Day Foundation)

Volunteer with the Green Seattle Partnership

If Arbor Day inspires you to get active outside, consider signing up to volunteer with the Green Seattle Partnership, a collaborative community group that combines the power of Seattle schools, businesses, non-profits, and the city itself to maintain and restore Seattle parks.

Volunteer events are held across the city nearly every weekend, ranging from planting traditional food and medicines to clearing invasive vines and plants.

Read the details on each volunteer event before you go and feel good knowing you’re contributing to a healthier urban forest.

Support the Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to planting and caring for trees across the United States. This trailblazing organization has been around since 1972 and offers a myriad of ways for people to get involved with tree planting and education in their communities.

Explore the Arbor Day Foundation’s website to find information on:

  • Upcoming tree-planting events
  • Shopping for trees, seeds, apparel, and books
  • Pages of information on tree benefits and identification
  • Ways to donate

And since a tree is planted for every purchase from the Arbor Day Foundation shop, you can celebrate the Arbor Day tradition even if you’re not planting in your own backyard.

Seattle Tree Care Loves Arbor Day

As Arborists, we’re lucky to have the chance to celebrate and appreciate trees every day through our work. It’s an honor to help care for our (sub)urban forest, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our knowledge of trees and the specific issues they face in our environment.

If you’re worried about your trees, or you’ve noticed they aren’t behaving as they normally do, call us for a free visit from one of our ISA Certified Arborists. We’re well-versed in local tree issues, and our team is here to help you take exceptional care of your trees so they’ll thrive on your property for years to come.

So this Arbor Day, don’t forget to give a big hug to a special tree in your life, or take the time to plant and care for one you will be able to enjoy in the not-too-distant future. After all, like all great holidays, Arbor Day is an annual celebration, meaning that you will have all the more reason to celebrate again next year!



Kelsey Gruenwoldt

Kelsey is the owner and CEO of Seattle Tree Care, a Certified Arborist, and founder of the Seattle Arborist Association. As a fourth-generation Seattle native, she has a great appreciation for this beautiful region and is dedicated to making sure our area's trees receive the best care possible. + Learn more about Kelsey

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