North Carolina celebrating Arbor Day today

Arbor Day in N.C. is being recognized this year on Friday, March 17.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:57 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Arbor Day will be recognized nationally on Friday, April 28, but North Carolina observes the day on the first Friday after March 15.

Arbor Day in N.C. is being recognized this year on Friday, March 17.

The day each state celebrates Arbor Day is based on data that indicates the best time to plant new trees. North Carolina’s Arbor Day was passed through state legislation in 1967 and has been celebrated by communities and schools ever since.

On March 17 at 1:30 p.m., Annie H. Snipes Academy of Arts and Design will be planting an American Elm tree, which has been donated by the City of Wilmington, the Alliance for Cape Trees and the Wilmington Tree Commission.

Each year, the groups work with schools in New Hanover County and plant a different tree at a different elementary school.

This is a great learning experience for elementary students as they will learn the history of Arbor Day and the importance of trees. A visual demonstration will also be shown so they can understand how large this tree will grow up to be.

“When we plant this American Elm, we plan to have the children gather in a circle that is 60 feet in circumference, so that they can sort of anticipate that the little tree in the middle is at its maturity and is going to be as big as all of us standing in a circle,” said Margee Herring, a board member of The Alliance for Cape Fear Trees.

An American Elm typically reaches 60 to 80ft and has a canopy that spans 30 to 60ft. It will eventually provide great shade to the school’s playground and will remind students about the importance of trees in our environment.

The Town of Burgaw is also having a tree giveaway from 3 to 6 p.m. at the town’s Courthouse Square. They will be giving out one, three-gallon live oak tree per household.