Let's Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Plant a Tree for Arbor Day

April 25, 2024
Image from Dreamstime

Arbor Day was first celebrated in Nebraska City, on Friday, April 10, 1872, thanks to the efforts of one man. Julius Sterling Morton was a new resident of Nebraska and was concerned about the lack of trees. This Father of Arbor Day became a man on a mission, planting many trees on his land, and then in his capacity as the Nebraska City News newspaper editor, lobbied for it to be celebrated statewide. The occasion spread to neighboring states and eventually to all of the US and several countries overseas.

Morton told everyone who would listen how important trees are important to the ecological balance. On that very first Arbor Day, about 1 million trees were planted. The day exists to highlight the planting of trees.

President Richard Nixon made it an official US holiday in 1970. Though Arbor Day is celebrated on different days in different states, the official day for it in the US is now the last Friday in April.

Maggie Toussaint, Valona Jones, Tabby Winslow (their amateur sleuth), and Tabby’s twin Sage who is very into trees encourage you to plant a tree on April 26. While other holidays celebrate what’s already happened, Arbor Day is a way to prepare for the future. Worldwide our planet is warming up, whether from natural cyclical processes, manmade activity, or both.

Background Image from Dreamstime

In book two of the A Magic Candle Shop Mysteries, IN THE WICK OF TIME, Sage convinces her boss at the nursery to stock live tree for Christmas. Furthermore, she suggests they sell live trees from a booth on River Street in Savannah. In the story, Sage runs out of trees multiple times and has to restock from a tree farm. Sage would love to plant a tree every day!

Many people dedicate their newly planted Arbor Day tree to someone. (Tabby and Sage will dedicate their Arbor Day tree to their mom.)

And a parting thought. Authors have long had an association with trees. For many centuries, authors were dependent on trees to become the paper for our books. Be kind to trees–and you’re being kind to authors at the same time!

For a chance to win the latest Valona Jones novel, IN THE WICK OF TIME, leave a comment with the name of someone to whom you’d dedicate a tree. This giveaway is hardcover (US only) or digital format. MY WINNER, AS DETERMINED BY RANDOM.ORG, IS SHERRY BROWN. CONGRATULATIONS, SHERRY, AND THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED.

Our monthly contest is currently closed. Check back May 1-22 for the next one!

Want to know more about our author Maggie Toussaint/Valona Jones? Visit her WEBSITE


Posted in Let's Talk, with Maggie Toussaint • Tags: , , , , |  40 Comments


40 thoughts on “Plant a Tree for Arbor Day

  1. Aw. This is a sweet post! I would plant a tree in memory of all of my loved ones who have passed away – especially my dad who passed away about two and a half years ago. 💕

  2. I would plant a tree just to plant a tree. We used to do this in our early married life with fruit trees at our house in Plantation. Now we’re into smaller plants and shrubs.

    1. I love your perspective, Nancy! I happened to have planted two recycled planters on Tuesday. We live in an area that is known for its centuries-old oak trees. I can’t tell you how many times they take my breath away.

    1. That’s lovely, Sharon. Thank you for being such a great steward of our environment!

  3. I would plant a tree and dedicate it to my late parents. They loved the woods of Kentucky very much.

  4. I like the idea of dedicating a tree to a loved one. We’re on 1.25 acres and have pretty well planted as many trees as will reasonably fit so it might be a while until we have room for the next one. 🙂

    1. Love that you have so many trees already. Perhaps a park or something needs another tree?

  5. We used to buy live Christmas trees and later plant them around our house in Ohio. I guess they were dedicated to each Christmas season! In our current home my husband planted two plum trees and wants to add more fruit trees.

    1. That’s such a good idea, Pat. My sister has Satsuma tangerines, lemons, figs, pears, and grapefruit trees in her yard. I don’t have fruit trees here but I’d like to have them.

  6. When I was a child, we were encouraged to buy stamps at Sunday school. When so many stamps were collected (the leaves of the tree were full), a tree was planted in Israel in memory or honor of whomever one chose. When I visited Israel years later, I saw the various areas that were populated by trees from stamp donations/children years earlier, but I never learned where or which ones would have represented my grandparents — but I know that the planting helped turn desert into gardens, farm land, and beauty.

    1. Oh! My heart is melting at this, Debra. That’s certainly a wonderful gift of life for the tree and the people of Israel.

  7. I would dedicate one to my precious maternal grandmother, who was like a second mother to me, and whom I dearly miss.

    1. Cherie, That’s so wonderful. How nice to have a second mother in your grandmother. Those are absolutely the best kinds!

  8. In lieu of flowers, we had a tree planted in memory of our neighbor’s sister who recently passed at the age of 91.

  9. I would plant a tree dedicated to my dad (and best friend) who died when I was in high school.

    1. That’s a wonderful tribute, Helen. I’m glad he’s still with you in your heart.

  10. I would have a tree planted in honor of my son’s double lung transplant donor ( Ja’ Lynn) 💙💚

    1. Aw, Sherry. A wonderful gift of life, just as a tree represents life. Thanks to Ja’Lynn’s family for their giving as well. This reminds me of the poignant Celine Dion song from Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On.”

    1. For Ayancey1974, that’s a sweet sentiment, and that’s why I keep up Carol’s garden, to have that connection with her. It’s a nice way to honor those we love.

  11. My cousin Doug died recently. He was caught in a riptide and could not escape at South Padre Island Texas. We shared the same birthday, October 11, though he was 4 years younger. That made us very close. It was such a sad time, but I had three trees planted in dedication to his life. It was through Echovia and they plant them in National Forests by either the Arbor Day Foundation or the National Parks Foundation. I am so glad that I did that for him. He was also a real lover of plants.

    1. What a poignant tribute to your cousin Doug. People will enjoy those trees for years to come. And it’s helped you keep his memory close as well. Growing up along the shore, I was always afraid a riptide had my name on it. What we were taught was not to fight the tide, to let it take you out, then swim parallel to the shore until you got free of it. Even so, I doubt I was that strong a swimmer at the time to do all that, so I was grateful to have escaped that fate. Here’s to Doug! May people be shaded by his trees and make new memories under those branches.

  12. I would dedicate a tree to my Dad. His parents had some pine trees that died once the property passed out of the family. I would plant a pine tree for my Dad, so he would know that a tree 🌲 was growing to add beauty to the world.

    1. That’s so heartwarming, April. Trees are important in so many ways, as is a happy heart.

    1. That’s lovely, Libby. Your parents would be so proud to see you continue to embrace the things they love.


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