This week on Under the Radar with Callie Crossley:

Many of the settlers who headed West in the 1840s ended up in the treeless prairie then known as the Nebraska Territory. They planted trees for shade protection, and to slow crop erosion. Their success inspired Nebraska Territory Secretary and self- proclaimed tree enthusiast J. Sterling Morton to propose a tree-planting holiday. One million trees were planted in April 1872 for America’s first Arbor Day.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the holiday. Massachusetts will observe the day on April 29th with environmental professionals leading mass tree-plantings and educational programming for the community. Three local professionals in forestry, horticulture and ecology joined us to talk about trees’ crucial role in the ecosystem.


Grace Elton, CEO of the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, a nonprofit organization and 171-acre garden in Boylston, Massachusetts.

Tom Brady, an arborist and the tree warden and conservation administrator for the city of Brookline, Massachusetts.

Lucy Hutyra, scientist and professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. Her lab, the Hutyra Research Lab, researches the carbon dynamics in forest systems and urban areas.