JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri conservation officials are touting the benefits of trees.
The state Conservation Department distributes nearly 100,000 native tree seedlings to fourth-grade students from more than 1,000 schools during March. Gov. Jay Nixon has issued a proclamation declaring April 5 to be Arbor Day in Missouri.
Conservation officials said homeowners can save up to 30 percent of annual cooling costs by planting two large shade trees on the western side of a home and one on the eastern side. Trees also serve as windbreaks and can reduce heating costs.
The experts also say the presence of trees can reduce crime in a neighborhood and protect soil from erosion.