Today is Arbor Day. Go plant a tree somewhere or give money to a group that is planting them. Although much of the US is covered in trees we also use them at an alarming rate, so they need to be continuously replenished. And many trees are just so beautiful…who wouldn’t want to have more?
I am especially fond of flowering trees. I have had many over the years, and my current favorite it the Desert Willow.
Perhaps the most famous tree in our area is the magnolia. Our university is known as the “Campus of a Thousand Magnolias”. In 1914 three thousand privet plants and a number of trees, including a few magnolias, were planted on the Southeastern Normal School campus. In 1928 fifty magnolias, as well as hundreds of other kinds, were planted on the grounds by landscape expert Professor E. B. Robbins. Calvin Bryant, Adolphus Holt, and Cecil Burnett, students killed in WWI, were honored on Armistice Day in 1919 with a tree planted for each. I don’t know if those still exist. By 1933 Professor Robbins and “Doc” Johnson, Southeastern’s gardener, had planted 500 trees native to the South. The original motto of the school was “The School of the Rising Sun”, but after WWII that was quietly changed to the magnolia one.
One of the original goals of Caddo’s Civic and Cemetery Club was to plant “at least two of every kind of tree that grows in Oklahoma” but they were frustrated by water problems. And no doubt lack of money!
If you can’t plant a tree today, at least take a moment to appreciate them. Happy Arbor Day!