Thursday, March 5, 2009
Arbor Day in March Proposed
More and more people are calling for the forwarding of Arbor Day to March as climate change is warming the soil and making the environment suitable for planting before April.
However, the central government has yet to make a decision whether to actually advance the planting day. Arbor Day was removed from being an official holiday in 2005.
``It's best to plant trees when the soil has just thawed because trees adjust well and tree sap doesn't leak so much. Since forest fires are frequent in spring, it is better to plant trees earlier,'' Kim Hyeon-shik, an official of the East Regional Forestry Service, said.
Global warming has brought milder winters, and spring is arriving earlier. The average temperature on April 5 was 3.4 degrees Celsius in 1946 when Arbor Day was first designated, but has jumped to 11.3 degrees in recent years.
According to the Forestry Research Institute, the average temperature of urban areas has risen by 1.5 degrees over the past 100 years and spring has come two weeks earlier.
``We found that when the temperature goes up by 1 degree, the date of budding advances by five to seven days,'' institute researcher Lim Jong-hwan said.
Some regional governments claim that a spring drought will make it impossible for trees to grow in April ― South Jeolla Province plans to advance its tree-planting date. ``Such a pattern will show up more often and we need to take measures,'' an official said.
The province's Yeonggwang County held a tree planting ceremony Wednesday, about a month ahead of the April 5 government-designated Arbor Day. ``It has been very warm these days and we thought it's time we planted something,'' the official said.
Jeju Island planted trees in the middle of February.
Goseong, Gangwon Province, in the eastern part of the peninsula, also held a similar event. The local officials said the soil had already thawed due to the relatively mild weather.
Painting by Baldomero Romero Ressendi