Did you know that one oak tree can be the home of around 284 different species of insects? Or that one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people? Well, now you do, because it’s National Love a Tree Day! #LoveATreeDay
So, on this National Love a Tree Day, go out and celebrate! Or go out and celebrate this weekend, when all of us 9-5ers have more free time! But if you’re thinking, “Lauren, I don’t know how to celebrate a holiday that isn’t centered around puppies, presents or drinking. What do I do?”—never fear. I’ve got a list of five things to help you on your merry way. You’re welcome.
1. Hug a tree
No, seriously. Go out and hug a tree. Do you know exactly how beneficial trees actually are? According to the Atlantic, they prevent $6.8 billion in health costs every year by filtering air pollution—preventing 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms a year. When they’re removed from an area, like when the emerald ash borer destroyed thousands of trees in the Midwest, rates of death from cardiovascular and respiratory illness in those areas increased.
2. Go hiking
Get out and enjoy the White Mountains! There are countless trails to explore—all of which host a wide variety of trees. Looking for further guidance? Check out 5 Must-do Short Hikes in the White Mountains or our recent write-up on the Wapack Trail.
3. Learn about local trees
When I was in 5th grade, my dad made me memorize local trees in our area, as well as their Latin names (he’s a horticulturist). While I was extremely annoyed at the time, I was able to retain a lot of that information (minus the Latin), which has actually provided useful in a lot of situations (as well as pub trivia). The Arbor Day Foundation has a great computer and phone based app aptly named, ‘What Tree is That?’ I suggest you check it out.
4. Eat NH Maple Syrup
Guys! Did you think all of my suggestions were going to be uncomfortably weird? Don’t worry, I’m here for you. Maple syrup is delicious, and it comes from trees—so it’s definitely ok to indulge on today of all days. Well, that and December 17, which is National Maple Syrup Day (Man, these ‘National of’ days are getting out of hand).
5. Sit under a tree and relax
Read a book, paint a picture, take a selfie. Whatever you do to unwind, make it happen under a tree today. Whether it’s a Maple, Red Oak, or White Pine (Latin name Pinus Strobus—look at that, I remembered one!) give trees some of your attention today.
Whether you hug a tree, sit under a tree, or stare at a couple trees on your commute to work, be sure to give them a little extra love today. And then continue to give them love for the rest of forever. They’re pretty great, you know. So, how are you going to to celebrate Love a Tree Day?