In celebration of Arbor Day, the Doe Run Company donated $5,000 to purchase trees for the city of Herculaneum.
Two sugar maple trees were planted at Herculaneum City Park during the city’s Arbor Day Celebration held April 22 and the remaining trees will be planted throughout the coming year.
“This was Herculaneum’s tenth annual Arbor Day Celebration, an important part of our commitment as a Tree City USA designee,” said Jim Kasten, city administrator for Herculaneum. “As part of this program, the city maintains a tree board and has established a community tree care ordinance to helps us ensure that we keep the natural beauty of our city a priority.”
Sponsored by the city of Herculaneum and Herculaneum Today & Tomorrow, the annual Arbor Day ceremony included a presentation of the Tree City USA award, music and readings by students from Herculaneum High School, and an award presentation for winners of the Arbor Day Poster Contest. Local junior high school students helped plant the trees during the celebration.
“Trees play an important role in the health of our community,” said Dave Patterson, a forester who manages 33,000 acres of forests on Doe Run’s land. “Trees provide beautiful flowering in the spring followed by shade in summer, while improving the quality of water and air by filtering dust, pollen and smoke.
“Fall brings visions of yellow, red, and other spectacular colors from trees approaching the dormant season. The lifespan of trees in Missouri’s rural forests is 100 to 150 years, but trees in a park or other high traffic area typically only live 25 to 50 years. Replanting is key to sustaining the natural environment.”
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the state of Missouri is home to more than 14 million acres of forest land, making it the seventh most forested state in the northeastern region of the United States. In Missouri, private landowners own about 85 percent of the state’s forested land.
Benefits trees brings to the ecosystem include:
— Approximately 120 different species of trees commonly grow in Missouri.
— Trees help to protect land from erosion and promote the vitality of the landscape and wildlife.
— One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people.
— A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. By the time it reaches 40 years old, a tree can sequester one ton of carbon dioxide.
— The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree’s shade is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
— In one day, one large tree can absorb up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.
Trees can also increase the economic value of private property by up to 20 percent, and mature trees often have an appraised value between $1,000 and $10,000.
Experts from the MDC are available, free of charge, to help landowners make the right decisions about the stewardship of trees on their property. Visit http://www.mdc.mo.gov/your-property to find the local MDC office and learn more about the care of trees.