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There are many reasons to plant trees!  Trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.  The Arbor Day Foundation reports that a mature tree can absorb about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide annually — that is the equivalent to absorbing the emissions from burning 4 gallons of gas. In sum, trees help mitigate the impacts of climate change. In fact, trees absorb about 30% of global emissions each year, which is why trees are known as the “lungs of the earth.”  

Unfortunately, we are losing trees every year due to climate change, pests, wildfire, and other disturbances. The earth is losing more trees than are planted each year, so reforestation efforts are needed to help restore and maintain our forests.

towering pine with oxygen co2


Winter forest Minnesota

Trees have large root systems that help stabilize soil and regulate the soil temperatures during weather extremes, which protects other plants and microorganisms.


Soil Erosion near lake

Trees also help to reduce soil erosion from runoff. They do this with their leaves and branches by slowing the rate at which water reaches the ground, and by physically anchoring the soil in place with their roots.


Standing Groundwater

Trees also filter water before it reaches waterways and groundwater. They do this in a couple of ways - by absorbing the water with their roots, and by slowing the rate at which water reaches lakes and streams.


Moose standing in deep water

In northeastern Minnesota, forests play a critical role supporting biodiversity and ecological resilience by providing food and habitat for a diverse range of wildlife species, such as moose, lynx, small mammals, and a range of bird species. Trees ensure the availability of food, shelter, and breeding sites, and contribute to the overall health and stability of the region's ecological networks.  Forests are essential ecosystems and habitat, supporting biodiversity and ecological resilience.

Single pine cone on tree


Air Quality Good indicator

Trees help improve air quality by filtering pollutants from the air. They do this by "catching" the pollutants with their leaves, through tiny pores in the leaves called stomata.  Depending on the type of pollutant, trees either absorb it permanently or simply allow the pollutant to drop down into the soil in the next rainstorm.


Carbon indicator in hand

Carbon sequestration is the process by which carbon dioxide is absorbed and stored in forests, soils, and oceans. Trees play a crucial role in carbon sequestration, and one of our Minnesota native species, the red oak, is considered the best carbon absorber! Protecting and restoring our forests is a critical step we can all take to mitigate the impacts of climate change.


Health status based on surroundings

There is a growing body of evidence that being near trees is good for your health!  Studies suggest that immersing oneself in a forest can enhance immune function, alleviate stress, uplift mood, regulate blood pressure, boost energy levels, and enhance sleep quality, among other benefits.


Reforestation efforts are needed because of wildfires and pests, both of which can be exacerbated by a warming climate. Planting a variety of climate-ready tree species now, benefits future generations

Climate change needle
Forest fire out of control
Spruce budworm crawling on spruce tree

"Plant a tree, nurture hope" - unknown

1 Diverse Trees.jpeg
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