Arbor Day

Arbor Day
   Until 1995, a large black poplar tree standing in the centre of the village of Aston-on-Clun in Shropshire was permanently decorated with flags suspended from its branches. In that year the old tree died, and since a young one grown from its seeds is not yet large or strong enough to carry the flags, they are currently lashed to railings around it.
   The flags are renewed on 29 May (*Oak Apple Day), locally called Arbor Day. As far as is known, the custom began in 1786, to celebrate the wedding of the local squire John Marston. The poplar was called the Bride's Tree; sprigs from it were given to village girls on their wedding day, to ensure a large family. Some authorities assume that the tree-decoration was a previous custom adapted for the occasion, but there is no evidence to back this. The Marston family eventually died out, so Hopesay Parish Council took over the ceremony, and gave it great publicity from 1954 to 1959; unfortunately, the press dubbed it a 'pagan fertility rite', rousing disapproval which nearly led to its abolition. However, it continued, and is still organized by the Parish Council supported by the proceeds of an annual fete.
   ■ Michael M. Rix, Folklore 71 (1960), 184-5; Tom Chambers, FLS News 23 (1996), 14.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Arbor Day — the day set aside for the planting of trees, first celebrated 1872 in Nebraska, the brainchild of U.S. agriculturalist and journalist J. Sterling Morton (1832 1902). From L. arbor tree, of unknown origin …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Arbor Day — a day, varying in date but always in the spring, observed in certain states of the U.S. by the planting of trees. [1870 75, Amer.] * * * ▪ holiday       holiday observed in many countries by planting trees (tree). It was first proposed in the… …   Universalium

  • Arbor Day — arboraceous arboraceous adj. 1. 1 abounding in trees. an arboraceous landscape Syn: arboreous, woodsy, woody. [WordNet 1.5] {Arbor Day}, a day appointed for planting trees and shrubs. [U.S.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arbor Day — Ar|bor Day an unofficial US holiday when people plant trees. Arbor Day is celebrated on different days in different states …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Arbor-day — Der internationale Tag des Baumes geht auf Aktivitäten des amerikanischen Journalisten Julius Sterling Morton zurück, der 1872 einen „Arbor Day Resolution“ Antrag an die Regierung von Nebraska stellte, der binnen 20 Jahren in den ganzen USA… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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