Minnesota Arbor Month

Minnesota Arbor Month

“Get Your Daily Dose of Trees for a Healthy You and Me” is the theme for Minnesota’s 2016 Arbor Month. The Chippewa and Superior National Forests in Minnesota are proud Arbor Month partners, planting approximately 2.5 million trees every year. Their work is essential to maintaining forest health and yours.

How does planting and caring for trees help you stay healthy?

  • Shade from trees reduces exposure to UV rays, the primary cause of skin cancer.
  • Childhood asthma rates are lower in urban neighborhoods with more trees.
  • Trees and shrubs reduce loud noises by 50%.
  • Tree lined streets encourage walking, a healthy form of moderate exercise.
  • Nature helps hospital patients refocus their attention away from pain, encouraging healing.
  • Kids who play in nature are more relaxed and attentive which can improve attention and learning.
  • A tree’s canopy and shade can reduce temperature by 20 degrees.
  • Fruits and nuts from trees have antioxidants which boost the body’s immune system.

You may ask why “Arbor Month,” isn’t it “Arbor Day?” In Minnesota, the last Friday in April is often still snowed covered and it’s still too early for planting trees, but May is just right! Starting in southern Minnesota and moving north throughout the month, Minnesota focuses on planting trees all month long. The U.S. Forest Service’s Eastern Region Urban Connections staff is part of the Minnesota Arbor Month planning committee, which develops annual themes and outreach. For more information visit the Minnesota DNR website.

Most research on the health benefits of planting trees comes from US Forest Service Research and Development, and their partners. For more information check out the Pacific Southwest Research Station’s Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics Program.