The Hunterdon County Shade Tree Commission will be holding its 16th annual Arbor Day ceremony on Friday April 24, 2015 at 10 am at the Hunterdon County Office of Emergency Management Communications Center, 201 Cherryville Road, Flemington. The Commission will be planting a Red Maple Tree near the main entrance to the Center. The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. The Commission will be joined at the ceremony by State, County and local officials including members of the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Commission will be planting a Red Maple, “October Glory” tree. The October Glory or ACER RUBRUM is one of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern North America. The U.S. Forest Service recognizes it as the most common variety of tree in the United States. Many of its features, especially its leaves, are quite variable in form. At maturity it often attains a height of around 15 m (49 ft). It is aptly named as its flowers, petioles, twigs and seeds are all red to varying degrees. Among these features, however, it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn. Over most of its range, red maple is adaptable to a very wide range of site conditions, perhaps more so than any other tree in eastern North America. It can be found growing in swamps, on poor dry soils, and most anywhere in between. It grows well from sea level to about 900 m (3,000 ft). Due to its attractive fall foliage and pleasing form, it is often used as a shade tree for landscapes. Some of the information in this release was supplied by Wikipedia. The idea for Arbor Day originally came from the state of Nebraska. On January 4, 1872, J. Sterling Morton, who was a lover of nature, proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. Arbor Day was officially designated a holiday in 1949 by the New Jersey state legislature.T oday the most common date for the state observances is the last Friday in April, and several U.S. presidents have proclaimed a national Arbor Day on that date. Arbor Day has now spread beyond the United States and is observed in many countries of the world. The Hunterdon County Shade Tree Commission is a 5-member commission appointed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders to serve 5-year terms. The Commission meets on the 2nd Wednesday in the months of January, March, May, July, September and November at 7 pm in the Planning Board Conference Room at the Route 12 County Administration Building. The Commission’s goal is to work with the Hunterdon County Department of Public Works to help maintain Hunterdon’s treescapes and rural atmosphere along County roads. The Commission holds an annual tour of county roads to review road projects and recommend the preservation of existing trees and the location of new trees to be planted. The Commission also provides advice and expertise on landscaping around county buildings and facilities. For further information about the Arbor Day program or the Hunterdon County Shade Tree Commission, please contact Commission Secretary Shaun C. Van Doren at or the Department of Public Works at (908) 788-1227,