The background of planet earth developing growth is complex, however the experts state that primitive greenery such as mosses appeared 130 million years ago. Rewinding in time, around 500 million years prior to this, green algae floating in shallow coastal waters adapted when reaching dry land resulting in the early formation of roots.
Todays flowering plants outnumber twenty to one those of ferns and conifers which thrived aeons ago before the first blooms appeared.
Historically the concept of Arbour day commenced in Nebraska USA, once a barren plain, due to the passion of a nature loving family, the Mortons. Articles and editorials encouraged civic groups and the population to become inspired and so the movement grew.
Originally South Africa did not have a culture of planting trees until the 1970’s when a real need for greening was recognized.
The concept of Arbour day ensued from the 1973 “green heritage campaign”.
Because of a disadvantaged past, focus on townships and informal settlements had little focus but are receiving more attention, but much education is needed to encourage the benefits of these projects.
Generally advantages like a sustainable environment, social and economical development and alleviation of poverty will exist if initiatives are adhered to.
It is indeed a frightening fact that humans have cut down one half of all trees on the planet thus far, due to the production of paper, building materials and agriculture.
A great enemy to trees is the almost uncontrollable development taking place with masses of greenery hacked away leaving barren swaths of land to be filled with mortar and bricks.
Arbour week should not be exclusive regarding planting and protecting our environment. On an emotional level a tree can be planted to honour a deceased person or pet at any time of the year, reinforcing love and remembrance .
During celebratory times like anniversaries and birthdays a gift in the form of a living plant is advantageous to cut flowers and can be encouraged.
In conclusion, a dedicated horticulturist once said “the first greatest evil is to cut down a tree, the second not to plant one in its place.“
We need to put back what has been destroyed any way we can, as fast as we can.