Dazzle friends and family with these amazing Arbor Day facts! Then download this awesome activity sheet from the Nancy B’s Science Club™ Nature Keeper & Tree Diary, full of engaging ways to help your own budding botanist celebrate this special day.
1. Green & Gorgeous
Roughly 1/3 of America is covered by forests.
2. Keep on Trunkin’
Every six years in Japan, local men careen down the side of a mountain sitting atop enormous tree trunks. This wild ride is part of the 12,000 year old Onbashira festival – hundreds of thousands come to watch and yes, riders have been killed.
3. Should It be “Chemis-TREE”?
Several legal (and illegal) drugs – including aspirin, chemotherapy drugs, and ecstasy – are produced from chemicals found in trees.
4. Different States, Different Dates
Arbor Day is celebrated on different dates in different states, according to the best planting seasons. Originating in Nebraska with settlers who missed the trees of their hometowns, the first Arbor Day was proposed by tree-loving politician and newspaper editor J Sterling Morton in 1872.
5. Barking Up the Wrong Tree
The world’s most dangerous tree, according to the Guinness Book of World’s Records, is the Machineel tree. Found mostly in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, the tree’s dripping sap causes skin blistering and blindness and eating the fruit causes ulcerations of the mouth and esophagus.
6. Breathe Easy
Just one tree can product up to 260 pounds of oxygen each year. So two mature trees can make enough oxygen for a family of four – each year!
7. We Hope She Brought a Book
In 1997 activist Julia Butterfly Hill began a logging protest that lasted more than two years – she spent the entire time sitting in a California redwood tree.
8. Hellloooo up there!
The tallest tree in the U.S. can be found in California’s Redwood National Park. This Coast Redwood is 369 feet tall and more than 2000 years old!
9. Tutti Frutti
A single grafted tree in New York can bear up to 40 different fruits, including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, and cherries
10. Where am I?
You can use a tree as a compass. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rings on a tree stump will be slightly thicker on the southern side, which receives more sunlight.
(Compiled from SaveATree.com, TreePeople.org, LandArchs.com, and ArborDay.org)