Celebrate Missouri trees with MDC through April Arbor Days

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages Missourians to celebrate the value of Missouri trees and forests during Arbor Days in April by planting native trees and practicing proper tree care.

This year’s Missouri Arbor Day is Friday, April 3. Missouri has been observing the state's official Arbor Day on the first Friday in April since 1886 when the General Assembly declared that day be set aside for the appreciation and planting of trees. National Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday of April, which is April 24 for 2020.

Missouri forests cover about one-third of the state and provide outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, natural beauty, jobs, timber for many wood products, and much more. Spending time in Missouri woods and forests can also provide health benefits. Exposure to nature contributes to physical well-being, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, relieves stress, and boosts energy levels. Trees also work to help our wallets, our families, our communities, our environment, and our economy. Learn more about how trees work at treeswork.org.

Get information on backyard tree care – including types of trees for urban and other landscapes, selecting the right tree for the right place, planting tips, watering and pruning info, and more -- at mdc.mo.gov/tree-health.

For more information on Arbor Day and Missouri's Tree City USA communities, visit the Arbor Day Foundation at arborday.org.

With the current public-health emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), MDC reminds people to continue to heed recommendations for hand washing, social distancing, and all other public-health measures during outdoor activities.

Order Seedlings from State Forest Nursery

MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery near Licking offers residents a variety of low-cost native tree and shrub seedlings for reforestation, windbreaks, erosion control, and wildlife food and cover. Orders are accepted through April 15. MDC has extended the seedling shipping timeframe through the end of May.

According to MDC, the shipping season typically winds down in early May after nursery staff have shipped millions of seedlings to schools, landowners, and MDC staff for planting all over the state. Since the precautionary measures in place to decrease the spread of COVID-19, the nursery has been closed to the public and has plenty of seedlings left.

Order seedlings online at mdc.mo.gov/seedlings, or fax an order form to 573-674-4047. Contact the nursery at 573-674-3229 or StateForestNursery@mdc.mo.gov to get an order form.

Take a virtual tour of the nursery at short.mdc.mo.gov/Zey.