In an ongoing effort to expand awareness of the general value of trees, the Missouri Department of Conservation a couple of years ago developed a program known as “Trees Work.”

On the MDC website’s Trees Work section, a lengthy list is posted depicting dozens of ways trees benefit communities, the economy, the environment, and peoples’ health, families and even wallet.

“We all take a lot of things for granted,” MDC Texas County Resource Forester Travis Mills said. “Most people don’t give much thought to what trees do for us, but they really do a lot.”

Among the benefits offered by trees listed on the agency’s website:

•Significant savings on air conditioning costs.

•Increased value of homes in neighborhoods that have trees along their streets.

•Noise reduction.

•Decreased crime rates in neighborhoods with trees.

•Reduced water runoff and cleaner ground water.

•Reduced ozone levels in the air.

•Removal of carbon dioxide and addition of oxygen in the air.

•Contribution of about $8 billion to Missouri’s economy annually through forestry industry and production of wood products, support of 42,000 jobs and generation of $600 million in taxes.

“Logging is a huge industry here in this region,” Mills said. “It has a big impact.”

With the goal of educating people about the value and influence of trees, Mills and his three co-workers at the MDC’s Houston office periodically take the Trees Work message on the road, incorporating it into presentations at schools or setting up a booth at events like the annual Farm Fest in Cabool. He said he and his crew frequently provide advice about planting trees on Texas County properties, and area residents can also take advantage of the proximity of the MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery at Licking – a facility that stocks and sells numerous varieties of native Missouri trees and is the only one of its kind in the state.

For more information about the benefits of trees, click here:

The phone number of the MDC’s Houston office is 417-967-3385.

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