Difference Between Earth Day & Arbor Day

Some important differences mark Earth Day and Arbor Day. They fall on different days and have different histories. People celebrate them in different ways. Earth Day began as a day of protest.


Although National Arbor Day is celebrated on April 24, states can set their own dates for Arbor Day, depending on their climate. Earth Day is celebrated on April 22.


Arbor Day celebrations always involve tree planting. People mark Earth Day in many ways that call attention to environmental and natural resource issues.

History of Arbor Day

Julius Sterling Morton, a member of Nebraska's State Board of Agriculture, proposed Arbor Day for tree planting and for recognizing the importance of trees. The first Arbor Day in Nebraska took place on April 10, 1872. Over time the idea spread to all 50 states.

History of Earth Day

Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin founded Earth Day, first celebrated April 22, 1970. He hired Denis Hayes to organize volunteers around the country to raise awareness of environmental issues and pollution. Earth Day began as a demonstration by citizens for a cleaner environment.

Countries that Celebrate

Although Arbor Day has spread to other countries, the United Nations does not celebrate it. Earth Day has also spread worldwide as people everywhere have become interested in environmental issues. The United Nations celebrates it on the March equinox.

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