A world record for tree-hugging will be on the line this week at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

A record 702 people wrapped their arms around trees in the Delamere Forest of Cheshire in the United Kingdom in 2011.

Minnesotans will attempt to break that record during the noon hour on Friday. They will assemble to hug trees at the arboretum's Pillsbury shade tree area, along Three-Mile Drive.

The event occurs on National Public Gardens Day, an annual occasion that celebrates more than 500 public gardens in North America and the role they play in environmental education, awareness and stewardship.

In honor of the day, the arboretum will offer free admission all day, and special activities and prize giveaways between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The arboretum is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and contains about 1,100 acres of gardens and natural landscapes.

Tom Meersman