More than 1.2 million trees were planted across Australia on Sunday during National Tree Day. This year’s tally brings the total number to over 22 million trees planted by more than 3.5 million participants since the campaign began in 1996.

This day is Australia’s version of Arbor Day, a holiday initiative celebrated around the world by people with respect for trees and their communities.

Australia has recognised the event since 1996 and, under the auspices of Planet Ark, more than 3 million people have planted 21 million trees and plants.

National Tree Day, started in 1996 by the nonprofit organization Planet Ark, has since become Australia’s largest tree-planting and nature-care event.

Each year, more than 350,000 people from across the country attend thousands of sites organised by councils, schools, businesses and communities.The event is preceded by Schools Tree Day, where students from 2,500 schools across Australia plant seedlings in their schools.

 Gardening expert Cr Neil Fisher from Queensland told The Bulletin, a local newspaper:

We’re encouraging residents and visitors to come along and help out by getting their hands dirty while doing something worthwhile and lasting for the environment. We’ll be planting local species such as the vulnerable native Scarlet Fuchsia or Graptophyllum, native tussock grasses like Lomandra and native Hibiscus. This year, families can take home a free native plant to replace any that were destroyed on their property from the cyclone, so our whole community will benefit in some way.

 

Kids celebrating National Tree Day in a festive way. Photo: Planet Ark

Kids celebrating National Tree Day in a festive way. Photo: Planet Ark

 

Planet Ark spokeswoman Sara McGregor said that around 3,000 tree planting events are being held to get communities to connect with and care for their local environment, and requested participants to do some research.
One of the most common mistakes tree lovers make, she says, is not doing their research.

“Some plants may be native to areas like Victoria but may be a pest in Queensland,” McGregor said.

“People will also plant exotic trees and quite often they become pests because they don’t suit our environment,” she said.

Planet Ark Environmental Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit organisation with a vision of a world where people live in balance with nature. Established in 1992, the mission of Australia’s leading environmental behaviour change organisations is to unite people, businesses and governments through positive environmental actions.

The tree-mapping project was intended to allow citizens to report problems with trees in their neighbourhood Photo: Alamy

The tree-mapping project was intended to allow citizens to report problems with trees in their neighbourhood Photo: Alamy