Arbor day sheds light on the importance of trees

Posted March 16, 2007

Ginny Ceballos
Staff Writer

Trees add color to the world. They provide shade and prevent erosion. They reduce carbon-dioxide and produce oxygen.

California celebrates trees on Arbor Day from March 7-14.

“Trees are beautiful, the leaves are different shapes and sizes,” sophomore communications major Diana Castillo said. “It’s nice to look at the transitions from the seasons.”

In 1854 J. Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to the treeless plain of Nebraska and he was quick to miss the spectacle of trees.

Morton was an editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper and he used that forum to spread agricultural information and enthusiasm about trees.

In addition to their beauty, trees were needed as windbreaks to stabilize soil, for shade from the sun and for fuel and building material.

On April 10, 1872, the first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska with the planting of more than one million trees.

The tree-planting holiday is now celebrated throughout the United Sates and in other countries as well, such as Canada and Israel.

In an informal survey three out of six students knew what Arbor Day is but none knew when it is observed.

“It’s like Earth Day, where people plant trees,” junior business major Adam Elmayan said.

Trees can help reduce global warming by photosynthesis which removes and absorbs carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere.

However, more and more tress are being lost each day due to wild fires, grazing, conversion into grasslands or grain fields and urbanization.

About three tons of carbon is released into the air with the death of one 70-year-old tree.

“If we stop deforestation then we have a better chance of stopping global warming,” sophomore art major Christopher Arce said.

Deforestation doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to stop or even slow down.
Brazil lost more than 93,000 square miles of forest, an area larger than Greece, in a six-year period.

“What happens in the Amazon is absolutely horrifying,” biology professor Jay Jones said.

“I think efforts to save forests are absolutely vital.”

The Amazon rainforest is located within nine countries in South America and accounts for more than half of the world’s rainforests.

Deforestation also has an impact on weather, causing droughts and massive floods.

“It makes me upset when I hear about deforestation; we take it for granted and don’t appreciate the trees,” junior Jacob Delgado said.

Some students were positive about trees having a significant impact on reducing global warming; however some were less optimistic.

“I think that there’s a small chance they could make a slight difference but not enough to make a difference in the ozone layer,” senior speech communications major Jennifer Luna said.

Even though the city of La Verne has been a part of “Tree City USA” for 20 years and has about 38,000 trees it doesn’t have an event to celebrate Arbor Day.

The University of La Verne does not celebrate Arbor Day as well; however, Jones will talk to his students about the role and importance of trees in his class.

Four out of the six students surveyed said they would attend an Arbor Day event if the school were to put one on.

Ginny Ceballos can be reached at

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