They say the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. Well, it seems the people of Nebraska, USA, were well ahead of the game. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the first Arbor Day was officially proclaimed 150 years ago from this year in April 1874 by Nebraska’s Governor, Robert W. Furnas. Moreover, just to pick out a fun coincidence, the State of Nebraska sits right at the centre of the USA, as tree-planting sits right at the centre of everything we do here at Tentsile. We plant trees for every tree tent and giant hammock we sell. And as those who follow Tentsile will know, we have now passed the one million trees-planted mark. Something we are, indeed, very proud of.

Today, of course, Arbor Day is celebrated across all 50 states in the USA on the last Friday of April each year. And you know us, here at Tentsile we don’t like to miss out on a party, so, in honour of all the good work done across the USA, we will plant an additional 3000 trees to celebrate Arbor Day – that’s 60 additional trees for each state! It is a start. And an important start, as, over the coming year, we will continue our work with Veritree to plant more trees in the USA to help replenish those forests destroyed by wildfires, a tragedy, which according to the National Interagency Fire center, affects every state in the USA, albeit some much worse than others.

Of course, Arbor Days are now not just in the USA. They are world-wide. In fact, according to Wikipedia, The first ‘Arbor Day’ in the world was an arbor plantation festival documented in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo in 1594, and today this village still plants lime and horse-chestnut trees! Today, Arbor festivals happen the world over from Costa Riva to Egypt; from Germany to India; from Namibia to Mongolia. You get the point. Tree planting is a celebrated activity on all continents of the world (except Antarctica, for obvious reasons!). And so it should be, given the continued destruction of our world’s trees and forests. Whether it through desertification, wildfires or logging for human consumption.

But there are green shoots. Around the world, inspiring tree planting projects are making a tangible impact on the environment and communities. In India, the ‘Greening Deserts’ initiative aims to combat desertification by planting millions of trees in arid regions, restoring degraded ecosystems and providing livelihood opportunities for local communities. In Brazil, the ‘Amazon Rainforest Reforestation Project’ works to restore deforested areas of the Amazon rainforest, safeguarding one of the world's most biodiverse regions and mitigating climate change. Across sub-Saharan Africa the ‘Great Green Wall’ project seeks to combat desertification and land degradation by planting a massive belt of trees across the Sahel region, providing food security, economic opportunities, and resilience to climate change for millions of people. These are just some examples of the many. Moreover, the World Economic Forum reports that there are now more trees on the Earth than 35 years ago. (Even though much is attributed to climate change and the fact that trees are growing in places that previously it was considered too cold!). The World Resources Institute proposes there are 36 countries that are gaining more trees than they are losing. And of course we welcome the recent report by the BBC that the rate of deforestation in Brazil’s  Amazon has dropped to its lowest levels in six years.

All in all, it is a mixed picture. But day by day we are all becoming more ‘tree-ware’! The importance of trees is being recognised further, wider and deeper every year. And so, here at Tentsile, we want to continue the momentum. Let’s plant more trees. Let’s save more forests. As we celebrate Arbor Day, let's embrace the spirit of collaboration and optimism. Together, we can sow the seeds of a greener, more sustainable future – one tree at a time.




Kirstie Grego