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Friday is Arbor Day — May the forest be with you

Courtesy Photo Hands hold small pinecones in this photo from the DNR.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests some creative ways to celebrate Arbor Day, which is Friday.

Get into the spirit of Arbor Day by planting a tree or celebrating trees in other fun and creative ways.

Take your family on a tree-ID neighborhood chalk walk. Use the “What Tree Is That?” tool and write the name of the tree on the sidewalk to teach others.

Visit the DNR’s Nature at Home webpage to help kids discover the wonders of the natural world.

Give a tree as a gift. Unlike cut flowers, trees can be enjoyed year after year.

Create and share tree-themed art. Use tree coloring pages to get started or make nature crafts from pine cones, leaves and twigs.

Learn about the importance of trees and sustainable forest management.

Hike at your local park or nature trail and spot wildlife living in the forest.

How to plant a tree

There’s no better way to celebrate Arbor Day than bringing home a tree to plant! Will it be a shade tree? One that makes fragrant flowers? A native tree? Or a tree that grows tasty fruit? Follow the steps to plant a tree the right way to ensure that it will flourish. Get more planting tips from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Choose the right tree for your location and climate. Don’t plant under a power line or over underground service lines — visit MissDig.org to get them marked.

Dig a hole three times wider than the tree’s container and about as deep.

Set the tree in the middle of the hole, and bring the root collar (the place where the roots meet the stem) just above ground level.

Backfill the hole firmly with soil, creating a basin where water can settle.

Water the tree and spread mulch around the base, leaving space around the trunk. Don’t build a mulch pile around the tree’s trunk, which can grow mold.

Water frequently in the first year and watch your tree grow big and beautiful.

Trees for our health

Watch the video awards for the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance’s “Trees For our Health” fifth-grade poster contest, connecting students with nature through art. Winners received tree plantings for their schools.

Adopt-a-Forest cleanup

Melting snow in the forest has given way to springtime sprouts and wildflowers, but is also revealing unsightly trash and dump sites hidden during the winter season.

Help care for the outdoor places you love by planning an Adopt-a-Forest cleanup, a perfect activity to recognize Earth Day, Arbor Day or any day that nature inspires.

The Michigan Adopt-a-Forest program, founded in 1991, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

In 2020, volunteers completed an incredible 100 cleanups in 100 days, removing 459 cubic yards of trash from state forest lands. They plan to keep the momentum going and need new volunteers to join the effort.

Here’s how to lend a hand: Visit CleanForests.org to learn about safety and sign a volunteer waiver. Then, it’s time to get outside and complete a cleanup! Use the DNR’s searchable dump site map to decide where to go. Sites are ranked by size, so it’s easy to find one appropriate for small, socially distanced groups.

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