Arbor Day is officially celebrated in March in the state of California. West Valley Garden Club celebrated Arbor Day in March. We have learned that Arbor Day was started in the state of Nebraska in 1872 when Julius Sterling Morton urged the citizens to plant trees as a conservation measure. His views were well publicized and on that first Arbor Day over 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska. Today all states celebrate Arbor Day sometime between January and May depending on their climate.

We celebrated National Arbor Day 2016 in May by planting Chinese fringe trees, Chionanthus retusus, at Orcutt Ranch in remembrance of Ernesto Cornejo Jr., a former gardener at Orcutt Ranch for 52 years. Yvonne Jones organized the special commemorative ceremony for Ernesto. The two trees were marked with yellow ballons for the day. More than 20 members of Ernesto's family joined us for the ceremony and stayed to have a picnic lunch on the patio.

In March 2015, West Valley Garden Club planted a second carrot wood tree, cupaniopsis anacardioides, at Fire Station #106, 23004 Roscoe Boulevard in West Hills at the request of the fire captain. A group photo of firemen, fire cadets on the left who dug the hole for the tree and West Valley Garden Club members and some family members pose behind the newly planted carrot wood tree. West Valley Garden Club provided some donuts to celebrate Arbor Day.

In the spring of 2013 we joined other garden clubs in our District to plant a gingko biloba tree in honor of Huell Howeser at the Conejo Botanic Gardens. The San Fernando Valley District garden clubs each donated about $100 to pay for the cost of planting the tree and to maintain it. The tree is just in front of the club banners.

It was a warm, sunny day for the Huell Howser tree dedication and many members from the San Fernando Valley District celebrated the occasion. Pat Zarnowski, San Fernando Valley District Director 2011-2013 is standing left front in a black sweater. Gwendolyn Powels, Sherman Oaks Garden Club president, provided the photos.

In March 2012 we planted a carrot wood tree, cupaniopsis anacardioides, at Fire Station #106, 23004 Roscoe Boulevard, West Hills. It is native to Australia and tolerates any amount of water and full sun. It is a slow growing tree, generally neat in appearance and evergreen. It was planted on the east side of the fire station.

We have planted trees at Orcutt Horticultural Center including some Japanese weeping cherry trees and replaced some orange trees in honor of fallen fire fighters. Below is Past President, Pat Ferrin standing beside an orange tree we have planted.