Jesse Bolli, a natural resource specialist at the Homestead National Monument of America, plants a peach tree to celebrate Arbor Day. Homestead has had an orchard that the community can pick fruits from since 2007.

To celebrate Arbor Day, members at the Homestead National Monument of America planted a peach tree.

"We're replanting the tree that didn't make it last year because orchards were a huge part of homesteads," said Susan Cook, interpretation and resource management at Homestead. "Homesteaders had to grow their own food. So if you wanted fruit, you had to grow it yourself or forage for it. So many homesteaders would have an orchard on their property. And not only did it feed you during their ripe season, but also you made your jams and would have it throughout the year."

The orchard has been a part of the homestead monument since 2007.

Jesse Bolli, a natural resource specialist, said almost all the plants were what was available when Daniel Freeman, the first person to file a claim under the Homestead Act of 1862, was planting his orchard.

Cook said that visitors are allowed to pick from the cherry, plum, apple, pear and now peach trees, but are limited to what "they could eat for a day."

The first Arbor Day celebration was started by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, over one million trees were planted in Nebraska, and it became a nationwide holiday ten years later.  

More than 30 countries celebrate some form of Arbor Day, but the actual date varies to match the local climate’s best time to plant trees.

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