The roots of Arbor Day run deep through American history. Founded by J. Sterling Morton, the very first Arbor Day in the United States took place in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on April 10, 1872, when an estimated 1 million trees were planted. “Arbor Day is not like other holidays,” pronounced Mr. Morton. “Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.”
Leland’s Cabins’ commitment to the environment runs deep too, which is why we’ve partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation since 2013 to take an active role in supporting the forests we use to supply the wood for our cabins. That means when you buy a Texas log cabin with us, Leland’s plants 20 trees in your name. In fact, we’ve planted approximately 10,000 trees in forests around the USA to date.
You could say that celebrating trees has become a daily occurrence with us. Officially, National Arbor Day takes place on the last Friday of April, when schoolchildren and adults alike are encouraged to plant trees. Though the holiday is generally celebrated at the end of spring, it was originally set on Morton’s birthday of April 22nd—which went on to become Earth Day.
Since optimal planting seasons vary around the world, there is no one fixed date for the many countries that observe the holiday. Depending on where you are in the world, your celebration time might be different. But the spirit of the day is the same everywhere: Arbor Day marks a time to add more green to the planet.
Our efforts to plant trees in our customers’ honor more than offsets the impact of the lumber we harvest for our custom log cabins. You could even say our motto isn’t too different from that of the Morton family’s, who kept the family philosophy short and sweet: “Plant trees.”
Why make trees our cause? There are a few reasons. To be the best log cabin builders, it requires more than just taking from the earth without giving back. In crafting a Leland’s Cabins home, we use a variety of woods, like cedar for our exteriors and two kinds of pine—ponderosa pine and white pine—for walls, floors, and ceilings. We want to make sure the resources we use are replenished so that other generations can enjoy them.
And trees provide not only beauty for those times we need to retreat into nature and recharge our batteries, but they also serve as habitats for birds and animals. Some other reasons why we should plant trees, according to North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, include:
- One large tree can provide enough oxygen for four people per day
- They provide shade and reduce high temperatures
- Trees lower temperatures when water evaporates from leaves
- A row of trees can reduce wind speeds
- Trees cut down on noise, sometimes by as much as 40 percent
- They settle airborne particles like dust levels
- Trees absorb potentially harmful gas
- Tree roots reduce soil erosion and surface water runoff
Planting trees is our gift to future generations. They’re a living legacy that connects us through time, to the people who are yet to populate the planet as well as to those who have lived before us. Consider some of the most remarkable trees growing on the planet right now, and you can’t help but imagine what was happening in history when they were mere saplings.
Methuselah: At 4,845 years old, this Great Basin bristlecone pine growing in the White Mountains of California has been considered the oldest individual tree in the world. But researchers at the Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research Group recently announced the age of another tree also located in the region. This one, estimated at over 5,000 years old, is thought to have been alive when Sumerian cuneiform writing systems were being developed and when Newgrange in Ireland and Stonehenge in England were built.
El Árbol del Tule: Thought to be the widest tree in the world, the Tree of Tule measures 46.1 feet in diameter with a circumference of about 138 feet. That’s about the size of two African elephants standing trunk to tail. Located on church grounds in Santa Maria del Tule, a small city in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, this Montezuma cypress is estimated to be between 1,200 and 3,000 years old, which means it could have been growing at the time the Jewish people were writing down the Torah, the earliest part of the text subsequently known to Christians as the Old Testament.
The General Sherman: Found in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, which is in Tulare County, California, this giant sequoia has been designated among the tallest, widest, and longest-living single-stem trees on Earth. Soaring 275 feet high and measuring about 25 feet in diameter, the General Sherman is thought to be about 2,300 to 2,700 years old—dating to roughly the emergence of the Greek alphabet we use today.
The Angel Oak: While not nearly as old as the others, this Southern live oak located in Angel Oak Park near Charleston, South Carolina, is believed to be about 500 years old. Ancient by American history standards, that’s about when the very first European settlement in the United States was founded, by Ponce de Leon. Standing 66 feet tall, this tourist attraction produces shade that covers more than 17,000 square feet.
The Tree of Life: This could also be called the Tree of Mystery since its survival in the desert sands of Bahrain is hard to explain. Called Sharajat-al-Hayat or Tree of Life, it is estimated to be about 400 years old. Covered in green leaves, this mesquite tree has inexplicably thrived in the parched Arabian Desert to grow about 32 feet tall. Baffled experts say there is no source of water in sight. It was a seedling struggling to grow when Pilgrims from England arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower and the Taj Mahal was built in India.
The Lone Cypress: Located on the coast of Pebble Beach, California, this Monterey cypress has become an icon and is considered one of the most photographed trees in North America. Experts estimate this beloved tree’s age at 250 years old, around the time of the American Revolution and the invention of the telegraph, flush toilets, and carbonated water.
At Leland’s Cabins, our appreciation of trees runs deep. We encourage you to learn more about us and our prefab log cabins online, or stop by our log cabin showroom in Grandview. We’ll show you how our cabins are Texas built and Texas proud, and how our commitment to environmental stewardship is rooted firmly in everything we do.