Did you know?

Arbor Day, the nation’s tree-planting holiday, was first celebrated in 1872. The Arbor Day Foundation was created 100 years later to carry out its mission on a year-round basis.

Since that time, and with help from its members, supporters, and partners, the Foundation has planted nearly 500 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities, and forests around the globe.

Conservation, sustainability, and environmental stewardship is our year-round commitment. Learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation programs and our 50th anniversary.

When is Arbor Day?

National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April.

Nebraska City, NE resident J. Sterling Morton proposed the idea for a tree planting holiday called "Arbor Day" at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture in 1872. It was estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

Now, 150 years later, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states.

Revisit History

The original estate of J. Sterling Morton, Arbor Lodge State Historical Park features a 52-room mansion filled with artifacts belonging to the Morton Family. It was here that the idea for the first Arbor Day began!

At Arbor Lodge, you can:
  • Explore the 52-room estate and learn about the history of Arbor Day.
  • See the Women of Arbor Lodge display in a recently opened area of the mansion.
  • Tour the park grounds, experience the whispering bench, and view historic trees.
  • Visit the Carriage House and Italian terraced garden.

Learn More

Play in the Trees

Just across the road from Arbor Lodge, discover the 260-acre Arbor Day Farm. This land was also once owned by the Morton family, who in 1859, planted 500 apple trees here. The Arbor Day Farm Orchard was among the first of its kind in this area.

Today, Arbor Day Farm is still home to a successful commercial orchard. Each Fall, visitors pick their own apples and take part in the community-wide AppleJack celebration. The Tree Adventure is at the heart of this property, offering a variety of nature-inspired activities throughout the year.

At the Tree Adventure, you can:

Learn More

View all Activities

View All