May is Arbor Month, and Minnesota ♥ trees

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One of the best things about living in Minnesota is the abundance of state parks, and the forests and woods that can be found there. From the oak tree or maple you may have in your yard, to the hundred foot tall guardians of the BWCA, Minnesota is a state that doubles as an arboretum.

The Department of Natural Resources has decided to have a little fun this year celebrating May as Arbor Month: They have created three short videos that demonstrate how to plant, water, and mulch trees to better inform the public not only on how to grow and care of the trees growing here, but why they’re so important.

You can watch the first video below. The other two can be found here.

For those that remember their elementary school science classes, remember that trees filter carbon dioxide out of the air and create oxygen. This is important because, of course, without oxygen, well, we all die. But a lesser known, but just as important reason to maintain a healthy tree population is that planting trees is an easy and natural way to keep our water supply clean as well.

Jennifer Teegarden, forestry outreach specialist touched on the importance of trees cleaning water and the videos that were created, “We Minnesotans can thank trees for the clean water we drink. These new videos show you how to easily plant and care for trees so that they provide clean water for generations to come.”

How do trees affect our water? There are three ways: First, they slow down and guide the rain as it falls to the ground through their canopies. This keeps soil and sediment runoff out of rivers and lakes. Basically, they act as giant umbrellas.

The second way has to do with mature trees soaking up 25-35% of the rainwater that falls on them. They act as giant sponges in a way. One Hundred mature trees will keep about 140,000 gallons of water out of storm sewers each year.

The soil underneath trees traps sediment and pollutants suspended in rainwater: The third way trees help with clean water is that trees act as filters preventing these contaminant from entering ground and surface waters.

If you have a few minutes head on over to the  DNR’s Arbor Month webpage. The page also includes a wealth of other information about Arbor Month celebrations throughout the state. Are you are Twitter user and tree lover? Does that exist? For even more up-to-date Arbor Month and clean water information, follow @mnforestry.

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