Third-graders at Fawn Mountain Elementary water their spruce saplings on Arbor Day 2015.

Each state celebrates Arbor Day on a different day, in Alaska it’s the third Monday in May. Today marks the 49th year Alaska has celebrated the holiday encouraging people to plant and care for trees. Arborist Laura Charlton spent the morning planting two trees at Fawn Mountain Elementary, with some help from Bonnie Collins and Tina Peckham’s third-grade class.

“We’re loosening up the dirt so we can put it over there by that maple tree,” one student explained with a shovel in his hand.


A newly planted birch tree outside of Fawn Mountain Elementary on May 18, 2015.

The class planted a maple and a birch tree beside the school. The students each got to take home a sapling, after learning about the many products trees produce.

“We could make surf boards or boats or shoes, clothes you can also get food from trees.”

Of course some trees produce food on their own, but as the students learned from Charlton, tree products can be found in some surprising foods, including ice-cream, gum and even cheese.


In celebration of Arbor Day students took home spruce saplings.

“Cellulose powder can be used to help keep grated parmesan cheese pieces from caking together.”