GARDENING INFO FROM DOUG – Just Don’t Stand There, Plant Something


National Arbor Day is a day set aside to celebrate the value that trees add to our lives and to promote tree planting and care.

Now, for this tag line, “JUST DON’T STAND THERE, PLANT SOMETHING”, I want to give a shout-out and credit to a colleague, Cheryl Goar, who is the Executive Director of the Arizona Nursery Association. I first met Cheryl quite a few years ago at a couple of national nursery conferences. It was her and the Arizona Nursery Association that came up with this campaign slogan. The slogan went national because it was so catchy. Virginia adopted the slogan quite a few years ago. My “small world” story to share with you—Cheryl Goar’s sister, Cinda, is married to my cousin, Mark Howell, and they live in Indiana.

Spring is a great time to add or replace trees in your landscape. It’s amazing what a few well-placed plants and trees can do for your home, your health, and your neighborhood. How is a plant or tree possibly going to make life better you ask? Being around plants can lower our heart rate, provide beauty and shade, improve property value, lower our energy use and cost, and clean the air that we breathe and the water that we use. Trees provide a habitat for birds, squirrels, and other wildlife.

  1. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and produces four tons of oxygen.
  2. The Virginia state tree is the Cornus florida “white flowering dogwood”.
  3. Planting trees improves water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion.

There is a Greek proverb that seems fitting: A SOCIETY GROWS GREAT WHEN OLD MEN PLANT TREES WHOSE SHADE THEY KNOW THEY SHALL NEVER SIT IN. I’m the old man with this proverb. We need to continue planting trees for our future. My two sons are both grown, young men and have been surrounded by plants their whole lives. And, now, with grandsons, my goal is to help teach them the love of plants. Can you imagine if we planted a million trees in Central Virginia?

It seems that we are driven to destroy our natural wooded areas with all the developments that are being constructed everywhere.

Another industry campaign that seems appropriate for National Arbor Day –


The history behind National Arbor Day is interesting. Arbor Day began in Nebraska 150 years ago in 1872. At the time Nebraska was mostly prairie land. It is estimated that more than one million trees were planted across the state of Nebraska. But, it was not until 1970 that Arbor Day became recognized nationwide.

In a nutshell, National Arbor Day is a holiday celebrating trees and encouraging individuals or groups to plant trees.

Here is a list of some of our native trees to consider planting in support of National Arbor Day:

Red Maple, Paw Paw, Serviceberry, River Birch, Eastern Redbud, White Fringetree, White Flowering Dogwood, Sweet Gum, Redbud.


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