Magazine article American Forests

The Past Is Prologue: A History of Tree Planting

Magazine article American Forests

The Past Is Prologue: A History of Tree Planting

Article excerpt

Tree planting is a popular pastime of late, but it's been a tradition at AMERICAN FORESTS since the organization's founding in 1875. Early members were horticulturists, nurserymen, landscape designers, and those active in growing and experimenting with trees. The constitution's principal goal: "the propagation and planting of useful trees."

Some other examples:

1882: At the first American Forest Congress, held in Cincinnati and sponsored by AMERICAN FORESTS, 50,000 spectators gather to plant memorial trees in honor of statesmen, authors, soldiers, and distinguished citizens.

1905: Second American Forest Congress delegates advocate more roadside and rural school tree planting. Fraternal organizations, churches, municipalities, and others join in; public functions seems incomplete without a tree planting.

1920s: AMERICAN FORESTS champions memorial trees and groves to honor WWI's heroes and veterans. President Warren G. Harding joins one such planting in 1921 in New York's Central Park, and Mrs. Harding, an AMERICAN FORESTS director, plants a tree at the association's Washington headquarters. AMERICAN FORESTS initiates the planting of trees on Mother's Day to honor American moms.

1930: Dissatisfied with slow national forest reforestation, AMERICAN FORESTS backs the Knutson-Vanderberg Act, which authorizes money for reforestation nurseries.

1930s: The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Prairie States Forestry Project, spurred on by AMERICAN FoRESTS, swell the tree planting movement. The CCC alone plants 538 million trees.

1946: At the Third American Forest Congress, it is noted that 75 million acres of forestland are either poorly planted or not being replanted at all. …

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