Missouri conservation officials tout tree benefits

Monday, March 18, 2013 | 7:10 a.m. CDT; updated 3:51 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 18, 2013

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.

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