Today is National Arbor Day, and it’s a great time to think about the care and maintenance of trees around you. Are the trees in your yard healthy? Are the trees in your community healthy? The benefits that trees give us are endless.
Rain refreshes the land and nourishes the green landscape. But as houses, stores, schools, roads and paved areas increase and natural tree cover is lost, so is the absorbing effect of vegetation and soil. With no place to soak into the ground, the welcome rain can become costly stormwater runoff.
Without the benefit of trees and vegetated infrastructure, waterways become polluted as oils, heavy metal particles, and other harmful substances run into them. Fish and wildlife suffer, drinking water becomes expensive or impossible to reclaim, property values are reduced, and our living environment is degraded.
Planting the right trees in the right places conserves energy and reduces your energy bills, while helping to fight climate change. See how properly placed trees save energy by providing summer shade, winter warmth, and winter windbreaks. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide, give off oxygen, and store carbon.
Try out the benefit calculator! All you need to do is enter information about a street-side tree and learn about the benefits it provides. Street-side trees are typically located in front yards, medians, parkways, planting strips, or other common planting areas adjacent to streets.
Learn more about the benefits from trees on the Arbor Day Foundation webpage.
DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is working with communities statewide to care and maintain urban forests, and you can find out more about the care of trees by talking with a certified arborist or visit DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov/urbanforestry.