College News
College News

University of Kentucky celebrates green legacy with The Arboretum’s 32nd Arbor Day event

University of Kentucky celebrates green legacy with The Arboretum’s 32nd Arbor Day event

University of Kentucky celebrates green legacy with The Arboretum’s 32nd Arbor Day event

National Arbor Day is traditionally in April, but Kentucky celebrates in the fall.


The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky is gearing up for the 32nd Arbor Day celebration Oct. 7. This event, held in conjunction with the University of Kentucky Urban Forest Initiative’s sixth annual Tree Week, promises a plethora of activities, including a plant and seed exchange, as well as complimentary entry to the Kentucky Children's Garden. 

While National Arbor Day is traditionally the last Friday of April, some states, like Kentucky, pick different dates to align with the most favorable tree-planting season for their respective regions. In 2021, The Arboretum, a collaborative venture between the UK and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, shifted to October. 

"We chose to move our Arbor Day celebration to October because trees planted in the fall typically fare better and have more potential to thrive than those planted in the spring,” said Molly Davis, The Arboretum’s director. “We resolved to prioritize the education of future generations of tree planters, emphasizing the ecosystem benefits of trees, the creatures and critters who depend on trees, and how trees depend on them." 

Festivities kick off with the Fall Plant Exchange at 8:30 a.m. EDT, followed by an official welcome and Arbor Day Proclamation reading at 10 a.m.  

Following the reading, the program includes recognizing Lexington's Tree City USA, UK's Tree Campus USA, and UK’s Healthcare Tree Campus USA programs, all underscoring commitments to responsible land stewardship. The Arbor Day Foundation awards these designations to institutions for adhering to specific guidelines which ensure they remain exemplary stewards of the land. 

Afterward, the Kentucky Children's Garden swings open its gates, offering free admission to all visitors until 5 p.m.  

The Arboretum will also host its traditional tree planting. Throughout the day, the Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center will display information about the forthcoming expansion and renovation, which Davis hopes will enhance the visitor experience and further educational programming opportunities. 

“I’m very excited about this year’s event, especially the focus on the children’s garden, with exhibitors from UK and the community on hand to share creatures and other interesting things,” Davis said. “This day-long celebration of trees and all that they provide for our community is made possible by the generous support of Kentucky Utilities and Dave Leonard Tree Specialists who are donating this year’s Arbor Day tree.” 

For more information on The Arboretum’s Arbor Day celebration, visit  

– 30 –  

The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.


Contact Information

Scovell Hall Lexington, KY 40546-0064