NEWBERRY — Gallman Elementary students commemorated Arbor Day Friday afternoon by planting a tree on the playground.
Usually celebrated in April, Arbor Day is celebrated in December due to the unlikeliness of the weather in the South.
“Across South Carolina today, we are supposed to plant a tree. So the 10,250 citizens of Newberry are expecting me to make sure I get a tree planted today,” Mayor Foster Senn said.
The students helped plant a Sycamore Tree, picked out by Gallman Elementary principal, Nikki Hunter.
Senn told the students how Arbor Day first began with Julius Sterling Morton.
“He lived in Michigan where there are a whole lot of trees and he moved to Nebraska where there are prairies where there were hardly any trees. He had a newspaper and was also big into agriculture and said ‘let’s plant trees in Nebraska, it’ll help break the wind and it will be shady,’” Senn said. “In 1872, the first Arbor Day, in Nebraska, they planted one million trees, which is amazing that they did that. So each state has an Arbor Day. In April, it gets kind of hot and dry and trees have a harder time living so they are usually planted in December or January.”
Trees also play an important part in our daily lives, providing us with air, fruit, shade and even the ability to make furniture.
Senn told the students of his favorites trees in Newberry are the oak trees that sit in Memorial Park in front of the Newberry Opera House.
“When I was a small boy, those trees were planted. So they have grown about 40-50 years and now they are really big, nice trees for all of us. That’s the same with this tree. It’s already a pretty nice size, but in about five years it will be even bigger. When you’re in high school, those that aren’t even born yet, they will be enjoying this tree and 20 years from now other kids will be enjoying this tree that you helped plant,” Senn said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.