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National Love a Tree Day

Last Updated: March 23, 2024

Written by Karen Norman

Photo used with permission from Neil Adlam.

Love a Tree Day – May 16

National Love a Tree Day is celebrated every year on May 16. It should not be confused with National Tree Day, held annually in September – see below. 

National Love a Tree Day is sometimes simply called: “Love a Tree Day.”

There are several reasons to live trees. Tree Canada lists 5 Reasons to Love Trees.

How do you Love a Tree?

Here are some ways to Love a Tree on National Love a Tree Day in the like-minded spirit of an arborist:

  1. Hug a Tree – One way to show your love of trees is to hug one, or at least try to hug one if its circumference is not too big!
  2. Climb a Tree – this is an option for those who are more ambitious or in the profession of caring for trees.
  3. Plan to Plant a Tree – Unfortunately, May is not the best time for planting trees. Instead, planning to plant a tree is the better option. Trees should be planted in the Autumn after the leaves fall. In planning to plant a tree, you will need to evaluate the best kind to grow based on the soil, climate, and amount of land available. You will need to allow for its potential growth over time. Also, you will need to be careful where you are digging. The City of Calgary Website has some tips for Planting Trees and Shrubs in Calgary.
  4. Fun with Kids – The Calgary Tree Planting Team has some Tree Colouring Pages for download and a video: Why do we Plant Trees?
  5. Support a Tree Planting Charity – Instead of directly planting a tree, supporting a charity that plants trees, is a great alternative. For example, at the time of writing, TreeCanada charges just $5 per seedling to contribute to their National Greening Program. Or plant one urban tree for $40.
  6. Identify some Trees – There are some great mobile apps for identifying trees in the neighbourhood by looking at the shape and colour of their leaves.
  7. Water a Tree – Sounds simple, but there is a specific way to water a tree. Firstly, it is best to water a tree early in the morning or in the evening in the summer. Watering trees should not just be on May 16th, though. Instead, the soil around the tree may need watering if there has not been much rain. If the soil is dry at a two-inch depth, it needs watering. Slow, deep watering is preferred.
  8. Enjoy the mystery of Trees – Appreciate the wonder of trees by being outdoors among them and taking photographs.
  9. Enjoy the shade of a Tree – Although the weather can be fickle, the month of May can sometimes be lovely and warm, in which case sitting under the shade of a tree to read is considered by some to be the height of luxury, especially in Alberta with our precarious climate.
  10. Respect a Tree – Have respect for trees by recycling paper and let it serve as a reminder that trees must be cut down to produce paper. The website The World Counts has some interesting Paper Waste Facts.

National Tree Day

In Canada, trees have two national days. In addition to the one above, National Tree Day is also held in September on the Wednesday of  National Forest Week. In 2024, National Forest Week will be September 22-28, 2024. National Tree Day will be on September 25th, 2024. National Tree Day is in honour of the benefits that trees give us.

Urban Trees for Improved Air Quality

Trees can significantly and positively impact Outdoor Air Quality. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb and help remove Carbon Dioxide, Sulfur Dioxide, and Carbon Monoxide from the atmosphere, contributing to the “greenhouse effect.” In the process, they add oxygen back into the atmosphere, contributing to clean air and water.
Some urban coniferous trees in Calgary, Alberta, are the Larch, Fir, and Spruce, and some urban deciduous trees are the Ash and Birch.

While a real plus of trees is to help with the Outdoor Air Quality, Furnace and Duct Cleaning can help with your Indoor Air Quality.

Other Benefits of Trees

Trees are beneficial to us in so many ways because they:

  • Provide a day’s worth of oxygen for up to 4 people per large tree
  • Help to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
  • Preserve Soil
  • Act as an Eco-System for Wildlife
  • Improve water quality
  • Feed birds and provide them with homes
  • Help de-stress us. Walking among them is relaxing
  • Help improve mental health
  • Add value to properties
  • Provide shade in hot weather
  • Help with climate moderation
  • Help us live longer
  • Help us live healthier lives.

For more ideas, check out 20 Reasons to Love Trees and 8 Ways to Love the Trees in Your Life.

Interesting Facts Relating to Trees

Did you know there is Alberta Forest Week in addition to National Love a Tree Day and National Tree Day? Alberta Forest Week originated in 1884 and is celebrated in the first week of May. Also, Arbour Day was first observed in 1872 and is now observed during the first two weeks of May. The first Calgary Arbor Day was on May 8th, 1905. You can learn more at the Government of Alberta Link on Forest Week. They have some fun activity suggestions on their site for the whole family.  


If you have ever gone near a tree and got a sticky mess on yourself, check out this blog: How to Get Sticky Tree Sap Off Your Clothes.

You may find our National Weed Appreciation Day blog post an interesting read too.

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