Celebrate Arbor Days by planting native trees and practicing proper tree care

The Missouri Conservation Commission observed Arbor Days in Missouri by planting a tree at Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) headquarters in Jefferson City on Thursday, April 11.

Commissioners Don Bedell, Marilynn Bradford, David Murphy, and Barry Orscheln were joined by members of the Missouri Community Forestry Council and several MDC staff. They planted an eastern hop hornbeam (ostrya virginiana). Native to Missouri, the tree is also known as ironwood due to the extreme hardness of its wood. It grows statewide as a common understory tree in oak-hickory forests, and its catkins are an important winter food for ruffed grouse.

Learn more from MDC’s online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/eastern-hop-hornbeam-ironwood.

“Trees and forests make our communities better places to live, work and recreate,” said Commission Chair Bradford. “The Conservation Commission encourages everyone to celebrate Arbor Days in Missouri by planting native trees and taking care of the trees we have.”

Missouri Arbor Day is celebrated on the first Friday of April and National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of the month. Both events bookend a month-long celebration of trees and forests in communities all over the state.

Trees work for Missouri by producing oxygen, cleaning water and delivering benefits that shape people’s daily lives. Missourians can take advantage of all the ways trees work by selecting native trees to plant and practicing proper tree care. Learn more at treeswork.org.

Get information from MDC including backyard tree care, types of trees for urban and other landscapes, selecting the right tree for the right place, planting tips, watering and pruning from the Department’s website at mdc.mo.gov/tree-health.

Did you know?

Missouri forests cover about one-third of the state and provide outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, natural beauty, jobs, timber for many wood products, and much more. Spending time in Missouri woods and forests can also provide health benefits. Exposure to nature contributes to physical well-being, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, relieves stress and boosts energy levels.