'Dragon Blood' And Other Awesome Trees For Arbor Day

Apr 27, 2012
Originally published on May 23, 2012 9:50 am

Buddha reached enlightenment under a tree. Cinnamon comes from trees — as do apples and latex and frankincense, not to mention the oxygen we breathe. As Shel Silverstein reminds us, they're just about the most selfless things.

But still, Arbor Day never seems to get much love. (I mean, think about how nuts we go for other holidays.)

We can actually thank Nebraska for this day. According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

"It was first proposed in the 19th century by J. Sterling Morton ... the editor of a Nebraska newspaper, [who] often wrote acgricultural articles and shred his passion for trees with his readers. There were relatively few trees in the state at the time, and for several years Morton proposed such a holiday to encourage his fellow Nebraskans to plant trees."

The holiday has since been adopted by many states and is most commonly observed on the last Friday of April. (Though, technically, it's possible that today is not Arbor Day in your state, so double check!)

Now, without much further ado, a photo homage to awesome trees:

Now what did I leave out? What's your favorite tree? (Maybe go give it a hug.)

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.