Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Not only is the weather cooling down (we hope in Texas), and hockey, college football, and tailgating is in full swing, but Texas Arbor Day is the first Friday of November, which is prime time to buy and plant your favorite shade or ornamental trees. You might be thinking, “Isn’t Arbor Day in April?” Yes, if you live in most of the country. The first Arbor Day in the United States was celebrated April 10, 1872 in Nebraska, and the idea of an official day promoting and planting trees quickly spread throughout the country.

One hundred years after its first celebration, National Arbor Day was declared as the last Friday in April. The only problem with this is that many times (including this past National Arbor Day), North Texas can see temperatures well into the 80s, with heat indexes into the 90s during late April. Although Fannin Tree Farm has a year-round 98% success rate of planting trees, fall is most often a better time to establish trees. Cooler temperatures create more favorable conditions for a successful transition into the tree’s permanent home. Which is why in 2013, Texas established Texas State Arbor Day, which falls on the first Friday of November.

There are lots of things that you can do to celebrate Texas Arbor Day. In Texas, the official state Arbor Day celebration is held in a different host city each year on the first Friday in November. On National Arbor Day, Texas A&M Forest Service announced that this year’s state celebration will be hosted in Plano, Texas. “The idea is for everyone in Texas to take one day – the same day – to truly appreciate trees and plant one,” said Paul Johnson Texas A&M Forest Service urban and community forestry program coordinator. “Planting a tree leaves a legacy for future generations while beautifying the spaces where we live, work and play today.”

Today, above all, Arbor Day is for children, parents, and grandparents to strengthen the bond between generations by planting trees together. It presents a tremendous opportunity to teach fundamental lessons about stewardship of our natural resources and caring for our environment. There is no more powerful demonstration than helping children plant and care for trees that their own children and grandchildren will enjoy.

Here are some things you can do with your family, school or community for Texas Arbor Day:

• Celebrate by planting a tree.

• Take a class of students on a tree identification hike around campus or within your community. Fannin Tree farm has a program to work with girl scouts, boy scouts, and other groups.

• Plant trees on your school campus.

• Challenge schools within the local districts to create Tree Trails on their campuses.

• Have a contest for students to find the oldest trees in the community and research the history of the tree. For example, when the tree was 10 years old, what was going on in your community, the nation and/or the world.

• Hold an essay contest where students describe the importance of trees to their community.

• Select special trees to plant as a memorial or honorary trees.

• Invite a local arborist to give a tree-climbing demonstration.

• Ask an arborist or tree company to come out and give a talk on trees, how to maintain trees or other tree-related topics for your school, community group, church, or scouts group. Fannin Tree Farm will do this for your group.

• Take a family walk at a local park and talk about the trees and what trees provide to our world.

Fannin Tree Farm would love to spend part of your Arbor Day with you! Come out on the 4th, 5th or 6th of November for our Texas Arbor Day Sale. All of our trees will be on sale. We will have Arbor Day Activity Books for the Kids, The Ticket broadcasting live from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, a food truck on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and lots of great Texas Shade Trees to choose from.

Sources for some information: