Celebrate value of Missouri trees during Arbor Days in April

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), no matter where Missourians live -- in the country, suburbs or cities -- trees and forests are valuable to their health, wealth and happiness.

Celebrate the value of Missouri trees and forests on Arbor Days in April by planting native trees and practicing proper tree care. Get more information on backyard tree care, including proper tree selection and planting tips, at mdc.mo.gov.

Missouri has been observing Arbor Day since 1886 when the General Assembly declared that the first Friday in April should be set aside for the appreciation and planting of trees. National Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday of April. Each state determines its Arbor Day based on its unique climate and weather patterns.

Missouri Governor Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon recently issued a proclamation designating April 5 as this year’s Arbor Day in Missouri. National Arbor Day is April 26.

In support of Arbor Day and in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) “Trees for Tomorrow” program, MDC distributes nearly 100,000 native tree seedlings from its George O. White State Nursery to fourth-grade classes from more than 1,300 schools throughout the state each March. MODOT provides financial support for the production and distribution of the trees.

The seedling distribution supports MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program, which provides grade-appropriate curriculum and activities to help students understand the importance of conservation. 


The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) works with and for Missourians to sustain health forests and trees, and trees work. According to the MDC “Trees Work” public-awareness campaign:

Trees Work for Your Wallet

  • Shade from two large trees on the west side of a house and one on the east side can save up to 30 percent of a typical residence's annual air conditioning costs.
  • Trees placed around buildings as windbreaks can save up to 25 percent on winter heating costs.
  • Street trees in neighborhoods increase sale prices of houses by an average of $8,870.

Trees Work for Your Health

  • Views of nature assist at the workplace. Employees with views of nature report 15 percent fewer illnesses and feel more enthusiastic and less frustrated than those without a view outside.
  • Those who commute along tree-lined roads remain calmer and drive less aggressively than those who drive along less treed roads.Tree-lined streets are more walkable, encouraging more active lifestyles, which decreases obesity and improves heart health.
  • 100-foot plantings of tall trees can reduce noise by 50 percent.

Trees Work for Your Family

  • Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder in children are relieved after spending time in treed areas. Kids can better concentrate, complete tasks, and follow directions after playing in natural settings. Contact with nature helps children develop imagination, creativity, and social relationships.
  • Trees along streets promote physical activity in children and increase longevity of the elderly.
  • One of the most effective means of protecting children from sun damage is to plant shade trees where they play.

Trees Work for Your Community

  • A 10-percent increase in trees in a neighborhood reduces crime by 12 percent.
  • Trees improve downtowns. People are willing to spend 12 percent more for goods and services in downtowns with trees, and spend more time shopping and come back more frequently.
  • People tend to be more familiar and socialize more with neighbors in neighborhoods with trees.

Trees Work for Our Environment

  • Covering more than one-third of the state, Missouri trees and forests protect soil from erosion and filter water, provide oxygen needed to breathe and clean the air by trapping and storing pollution.
  • Missouri forests and trees provide habitat for an incredible diversity of plants and animals that could not exist without them, along with a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities and breathtaking scenic beauty.100 mature trees intercept about 100,000 gallons of rainfall per year, reducing runoff and providing cleaner water.
  • The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
  • Missouri’s forests store more than 5 million tons of carbon. Each year, an acre of forest captures between one and four tons of additional carbon.
  • For each pound of new wood that grows, the tree removes about 1.8 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air and produces 1.3 pounds of oxygen.

Trees Work for Our Economy

  • Missouri trees and forests provide lumber and other wood products used around the state and around the world.
  • Missouri’s forest products industry contributes approximately $7.3 billion to the state economy annually, supports 41,200 jobs, and generates $610 million in taxes.
  • Trees along streets in Missouri communities provide $148 million annually in benefits, including energy savings, increases in property values, and storm-water retention.

For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov and search “Trees Work.”