04/27/2012 07:34 pm ET Updated Apr 28, 2012

Arbor Day 2012: A California Tree Tour Of Our Best, Brightest And Weirdest (PHOTOS)

Happy Arbor Day 2012! Plant a tree! Hug a tree! Love a tree!

This eco-tastic holiday was founded in Nebraska in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, an editor who wrote racist, pro-slavery editorials (!) but was fascinated by trees. His son, Joy Morton, founded the Morton Salt Company in Chicago in 1885.

Despite the questionable politics of its founder, Arbor Day has become a day for individuals around the world, in over 30 countries, to plant and care for trees. Here in California, we have both some of the world's most breathtaking trees and some of the strangest trees.

From Dr. Seuss-esque Joshua Trees to purple gum-drop Jacarandas, "arbor-sculpted" Circus Trees to Giant Sequoias big enough to drive a car through, California's trees, just like its people, sure are colorful and diverse. Get outside and appreciate the trees that are a life source around you.

For inspiration, click through photos of some of California's most amazing trees:
All photos courtesy of Alamy.