What is National Tree Day?
National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day combine to make Australia’s biggest community tree-planting and nature care event. Co-ordinated by Planet Ark and proudly sponsored by Toyota, these are special days for all Australians to help out by planting and caring for native trees and shrubs to improve the environment in which they live. National Tree Day was co-founded by Olivia Newton-John and Planet Ark in 1996 and since then more than 2 million volunteers have planted over 15 million native trees and shrubs! It’s a day to get down and get your hands dirty to help the planet!
A short word about native plants
National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day promote planting and caring for native trees and plants. Australia is a massive continent. It is also a very old continent. Australian plants have had a long time to adapt to local conditions. Transplanted to another site with a slightly different climate, an Australian plant could simply curl up and die OR it could establish itself as an invasive weed species and out-compete other native species in its new home. This then becomes a problem for local wildlife who have also adapted – to particular types of habitat and to particular food plants. The Cootamundra Wattle is an example of a native Australian species that has moved out of its local area to become a widespread weed.
At Planet Ark we believe it is important to maintain and support local bio-diversity. In places all around the world that people love to visit, plants bring their special colours, textures and smells to make those places unique. So we do not promote the planting of introduced species and we strongly recommend that sites are only planted under the supervision of an experienced and knowledgeable bush regenerator. Even in urbanized areas there can be remnant native plants that represent an important source of local biodiversity, often threatened by the pressures of urban living.
National Tree Day aims to inspire, educate and recruit Australians to actively care for our unique land and create future generations of committed environmental custodians.
There are many reasons why planting native plants that are local to your area (also known as local provenance) is important.
Plants help to combat climate change by locking up carbon, but there are more ways that native plants can help address the impacts of climate change.
Before Climate Change was the “hot” topic in the environmental debate, the loss of biodiversity was internationally recognised as being the major threat facing the future of life on our planet.
Not local? Easy, pop on over to Planet Ark to find a site near you