Trees give us clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.
Trees protect our topsoil, which is less than 1” thick in northern Michigan.
Trees hold soil in place and prevent erosion along our streams and the lake.
Trees save us money by reducing our energy bills. Their shade cools our houses in the summer and protects us from cold winter winds.
Did you know that a 15-inch diameter sugar maple in a residential neighborhood:
- Provides $140 in environmental and property benefits every year, including raising property value by $43
- Traps 1,367 gallons of stormwater containing sediments, nutrients and toxins
- Conserves 233 Kilowatt/hours of electricity for cooling and reduces consumption of oil or natural gas
- Absorbs air pollutants like ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide through leaves
- Reduces atmospheric carbon by 689 pounds (Most car owners of an “average” car drive 12,000 miles generating about 11,000 pounds of CO2 every year.)
(Source: The Watershed Center – Grand Traverse Bay, 2013)
Planting trees every year is important for the future.
Our watershed is already seeing the disappearance of white ash on the hills, black ash in the cedar swamps and green ash along the streams and lake caused by the invasive species – emerald ash borer.
As temperatures and the length of the growing season increase and droughts make soils drier, the mixture of tree species will change in the Torch Lake Watershed.
University of Michigan scientists predict that aspen, birch, tamarack, spruce, balsam fir, hemlock and pine will be replaced by more basswood, white and pin oak, black cherry and hop hornbeam.
Because trees take many years to grow, plant a few new trees each year.
Plant trees to replace those you have cut down or those that have died.
Your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will think of you while they’re in the shade of these trees.