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Arbor Day: a tradition with new significance for today's families
Children enjoying planting trees in Tigard during their Oregon Arbor Week celebration in 2007
Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421 or
Paul Ries, 503-945-7391
Bushwhacking along a creek bank. Whiling away hours in a favorite patch of forest. Or for that matter, spending much time in any sort of natural setting.  These things are missing from too many childhoods these days, says Richard Louv, author and journalist of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder."
Oregon’s upcoming Arbor Week activities could provide a chance to restore that connection.
Today’s fast-paced culture, video games, television and other forms of electronic entertainment are taking precedence in the lives of today’s kids, leading to greater rates of childhood obesity, attention deficit disorder, and a lack of understanding of the natural world, says Louv, who spent ten years talking to parents, children, teachers, researchers and others. Exposure to outdoor settings enhances kids' health, improving symptoms of attention deficit disorders via the calming effect of nature, he believes. And, when playing in a natural setting, kids are more likely to be creative, invent their own games, and play cooperatively, according to Louv.

Arbor Day, yesterday and today
   Oregon Arbor Week logo 
The first Arbor Day – founded by Julius Sterling
Morton, a Nebraska journalist and politician
originally from Michigan – took place on
April 10, 1872. Today, many people view
Arbor Day as Morton’s most important
In Oregon, the State Legislature has decreed
the first full week in April as Arbor Week,
and this year Oregon’s Arbor Week takes
place April 6 – 12.
In view of Louv’s findings, think about
Arbor Week as a chance to reconnect the family,
create an annual tradition, make lasting memories,
and help children connect with nature. Spend time
outdoors with your kids, take walks in the woods,
visit city parks and arboretums, and of course,
participate in Arbor Week events.

Tips for tree planting at home

For homeowners, Arbor Week is an excellent opportunity to take stock of trees on their
property and plan for the future.  Think about
how planting new trees might improve the look
of your own property, and provide wildlife
habitat, scenic beauty, a visual screen, or wind
or heat protection somewhere in your
For long-term success, remember these
tree planting tips. In many instances trees
are not given their best odds for long-term
survival and growth because they are planted
too deeply. When planting a tree, never dig
the hole deeper than necessary, and plant the
tree with the root collar at ground level or
slightly (2”) higher toallow for settling. Also,
remove all containers, wire, plastic and string
from the trunk and roots before planting.
Fertilizing at the time of planting is not
necessary, but the tree should be deeply
watered at the time of planting. Common
symptoms of newly-planted trees that
have been too deeply planted include yellow foliage, fall color that comes earlier than usual,
and leaf drop.

Upcoming Arbor Week events in Oregon to watch for
All across Oregon, cities will be receiving Tree City USA awards, schoolchildren will be planting trees, and communities will be holding Arbor Week observances.

In Portland, look for the Oregon Arbor
Community Fair, to be held from
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12,
at the World Forestry Center where
numerous organizations will be on-hand
to guide visitors through hands-on activities
to explore the concepts of forest sustainability.
Visit their website for more information.
  Oregon Arbor Community Fair Logo
In Eugene, 23rd and Harris is the place to be Saturday, April 12, for a Tree City USA presentation and tree planting. Call 541-682-4819 for more information.
In the City of Albany, events tentatively include a tree giveaway at City Hall, tree walks, pruning demonstrations and a heritage tree tour. Call 541-917-7679 for more information.
In the Bend area, local families, youth groups and community volunteers are invited to plant Ponderosa Pine seedlings in Shevlin Park Wednesday, April 2 (2 p.m.-5:30 p.m.), Thursday, April 3 (3 p.m. -5:30 p.m.), Friday, April 4 (3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) and Saturday, April 5 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.).  For more information: 541-389-7275 ext#116.

Want more information?
For more information about additional Arbor Week and tree planting events in your area:
For more information about trees and tree care:
For more information about urban forestry: