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Arbor Day: Have You Hugged a Tree Today?

April 27 is National Arbor Day, a holiday to celebrate and appreciate trees. John Muir was a fan of the forest himself. Can you name the types of trees in Martinez?

Trees, noted John Muir, are never discontent. They stand their ground and embrace it. And many, many trees have embraced Martinez, exploring its earth with their roots and saluting its sky with their branches. 

National Arbor Day, celebrated April 27, offers an opportunity to salute them back. The holiday was founded in 1872 by a Nebraska newsman, J. Sterling Morton, and was being observed nationally by the 1920s.

Today, we celebrate by planting trees, learning about them and generally enjoying the foliage. 

Learn how to recognize the trees in Martinez using the Arbor Day Foundation's interactive tree identification tool. Read more of John Muir's musings on trees below.

John Muir, On Trees

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.  ~John Muir

I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!  ~John Muir

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. ~John Muir

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. ~John Muir

A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship.  But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.  Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves.  No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.  ~John Muir

We all travel the milky way together, trees and men... trees are travellers, in the ordinary sense.  They make journeys, not very extensive ones, it is true:  but our own little comes and goes are only little more than tree-wavings - many of them not so much.  ~John Muir, Scribner's Monthly, November 1878

Can you name some of the trees that have taken root in Martinez? Let us know in the comments.

Kristin Henderson April 30, 2012 at 04:28 AM
What can be said of Sutro Heights Park is what John Muir said of Calavares Big Tree: “...has a strange air of other days about it, a thoroughbred look inherited from long ago. The auld lang syne of trees."
Kristin Henderson April 30, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Why, yes I do. The 400 trees the CWA paid for in the Great Depression. The trees planted in what is now the public part of Rankin Park. The olive grove. The trees in Susana Park. And I hate botany, even more than history, or anatomy, or finance or anything that actually makes me study and which could actually be of use to me. Nonetheless, what can be said of Sutro Heights Park and of Martinez's overall landscape, is what John Muir said of Calavares Big Tree: “...has a strange air of other days about it, a thoroughbred look inherited from long ago. The auld lang syne of trees."

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