Friday April 24, 2020 – Arbor Day!

Friday April 24, 2020

– New Moon Phase: begin, initiate, wish, project, set an intention

– Moon in Taurus

– Sun in Taurus

– Best Days (from the Farmer’s Almanac) –Cut Firewood, Cut Hair to Increase Growth, Mow to Increase Growth, Dig Holes, Wax Floors, Paint, Get Married, Advertise to Sell, Buy Clothes, Buy a Home

– Gardening tips April 22-24 (from the Farmer’s Almanac) –Favorable for planting beans, corn, cotton, tomatoes, peppers, and other above ground crops.

– Aspect of the Aeon Sophia: (Wisdom): Tara – Goddess Who Guides

– Aspect of the Aeon Thelete: (Will/Desire): Ian, God of the East, God of Wisdom

– Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Month: “The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”

– Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “A Triangle with Wings”

SUN: 5 TAURUS – A widow at an open grave

EARTH: 5 SCORPIO –  A massive rocky shore resists the pounding of the sea

One of the oddball holidays that I have wanted to write about is Arbor Day. Many people have heard about it. It’s often mentioned on the News on the Day it happens, followed by a cute news clip of some community leaders planting a tree.  All pretty and cute. But not enough to call a day off work or have the banks close. So I wondered about it.

The light went on about this a few months back (hell I think it was in the last year) after I saw a Facebook meme (that I cannot find now) suggesting that we might be able to clean up the planet and stop global warming by simply planting a lot of trees. I think to make it work you have to plant in the millions, but who is counting.

So I started looking into Arbor Day and what it is all about.

I remember as far back as when I was a kid, and watching an Our Gang (Little Rascals) short film where they sang about Arbor Day. In looking it up, it is still available on Youtube. Here is a clip from it (proving my memory has not completely failed me).

This was back in 1936, so the holiday has been around for a long time. A little research show that it was championed by Theodore Roosevelt. He was always a naturalist. This particular holiday was shamed on him after Roosevelt had been cozying up to the logging industry. A conservationist from Pennsylvania, Major Israel McCreight pushed him to do it. Not a bad piece of shame if you ask me. It was also big in Nebraska, where in 1872 they planted over a million trees. Not bad.

The observed holiday goes back into the 1500’s when a catholic missionary in Spain was celebrating planting trees in his small town.

It all sounds great. Arbor Day seems like a great cause. But as with all good ideas, government has to get in and muck it up.

Tree City USA

The small Borough that I live in, a few miles west of Reading Pennsylvania, proudly Displays Tree City USA signs as you drive into the area. I always thought that was pretty cool. We do have a lot of trees, and the Borough maintains them well.

So what exactly is “Tree City USA?” What does the Arbor Day Foundation do?

I asked myself this question for a couple reasons. 1) I was interested. and 2) I was hoping I would be able to get a tree or trees from them for a good price – or even free.

If I was going to work on this whole idea of planting trees to save the environment, how would I get the trees and where would I plant them? It probably will not be around here. We have lots. I will need to find other open spaces to do it. That is a job for another time and place.

But I would like to plant some apple trees. They are kind of expensive (more than I spend on fencing each year on my garden at least). I will need t plant more than one. Meaning I will need to enlist some help (or at least permission from some of my neighbors to plant trees in their yards). Apple trees, in order to produce fruit, need pollenators (other similar trees). I do not have room in my yard for 2 trees. Thus, I need more.

Back to The Arbor Day Foundation. In the end, the Arbor Day foundation has less to do with planting trees and more to do with community organizing. Their sole purpose is to put together governmental structures that will ensure orderly care for the trees in a community. It requires a “Tree Board,” who are a group empowered to set policy on the placements and care for trees. And the community is required to maintain a budget for trees.

It all gives us more government. And possibly more trees. But . . .

Does it get us any closer to millions of trees to stop global warming?

I would say, Yes and No. The Arbor Day foundation is a small, slow positive step. It is people, starting local to improve the world around them. Here in Rural / Suburban Pennsylvania, it is helping keep a beautiful old community looking beautiful. I live in a 100 year old home, on a street lines with stunning Lindon trees that create a beautiful tunnel and drop the Temperature in the summer on our street up to 10 degrees. They are a mess. But I would not trade them for the world.

I will need to look further than my own community to plant 10, 100, 1000, 10000 trees. Or enough to make a difference to the environment.

So I will start with my apple tree project. I will write about it. I will ask others to consider it as well. If I cannot put them directly in the ground, maybe all of you can help.