Arbor Day Celebrated at Chalco Hills Recreation Area

Arbor Day Celebrated at Chalco Hills Recreation Area


On April 17 & 18 (Thursday & Friday), from 3:00-5:00pm, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District will be handing out 10,000 seedling trees to over 100 area school teachers and youth group leaders. The Serviceberry seedlings will then be given to students to take home for Arbor Day plantings.

(The tree pickup will take place at our Maintenance Shop right inside the 156th & Giles Entrance.)
Arbor Day in Nebraska is April 25, 2014.

The following is general information about the benefits of trees, and some specific information on Serviceberry.

Top 22 Benefits of Trees

Here are 22 of the best reasons to plant and care for trees or defend a tree's standing:
Global warming is the result of excess greenhouse gases, created by burning fossil fuels and destroying tropical rainforests. Heat from the sun, reflected back from the earth, is trapped in this thickening layer of gases, causing global temperatures to rise. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.

Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased.

Trees cool the city by up to 10°F, by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban "heat islands" and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.

Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants to the ocean. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies.
On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent, thus providing protection to children on school campuses and playgrounds - where children spend hours outdoors.

An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year and can be planted on the tiniest urban lot. Aside from fruit for humans, trees provide food for birds and wildlife.

Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.

Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.

Is it winter, spring, summer or fall? Look at the trees.

Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities. Vocational training for youth interested in green jobs is also a great way to develop economic opportunities from trees.

Whether as houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for human retreat throughout the ages. 

Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods. All cultures, ages, and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event.

Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.

Sycamore and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.

In suburban and rural areas, trees can be selectively harvested for fuel and craft wood.
Trees increase property values.

The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15 percent.

Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow in. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic - enough to allow the drivers to look at the store fronts instead of whizzing by.

The Serviceberry is generally described as a perennial tree or shrub. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The Serviceberry has dark green foliage and inconspicuous white flowers, with a moderate amount of conspicuous purple fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the mid spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the spring and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. It has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a slow growth rate. At maturity, the typical Common Serviceberry will reach up to 35 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 25 feet. 

Trees of downy serviceberry are generally not large enough for sawtimber but they have been used for pulpwood. The wood is extremely heavy and hard and is occasionally made into tool handles. Cree Indians prized it for making arrows. 

At least 40 bird species (for example, mockingbirds, cardinals, cedar waxwings, towhees, Baltimore orioles) eat the fruit of Amelanchier species. Mammals that either eat the fruit or browse the twigs and leaves of downy serviceberry include squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, mice, voles, foxes, black bears, deer, and elk. The fruits taste similar to blueberry - they are eaten fresh or cooked in pastries or puddings. 

The trees are used as ornamentals and many cultivars have been selected for variation in growth habit, flower size and color, and leaf color. The fall foliage blends orange and gold with red and green. It grows in partial shade to full sun, preferring moist but well-drained soil but will also grow in dry sites. 

Downy serviceberry is widespread in the eastern US and southeastern Canada (New Brunswick and southern Newfoundland to Quebec and Ontario); south to the northern tip of the Florida Panhandle and west to Alabama, southern Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas (rare), Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. 

Adaptation Downy serviceberry grows in a variety of habitats - swampy lowlands, dry woods, sandy bluffs, rocky ridges, forest edges, and open woodlands and fields. It is a late successional to climax species in mixed-hardwood forests of the central U.S., commonly as an understory species. In the southern Appalachians, downy serviceberry grows in red spruce-Fraser fir forests at elevations of 1500-2000 meters with yellow birch, mountain ash, elderberry, and hobblebush. Flowering (March-)April-May, among the first of the early spring trees and shrubs to bloom; fruiting June-August. 
Downy serviceberry regenerates mainly by seed, but it also sprouts from the roots. Birds and mammals disperse seeds; scarification of the seeds after ingestion by birds is important for germination. Seeds can be sown after 2-6 months of cold stratification, but they will not usually germinate until after the second spring. 

Fire top-kills downy serviceberry but it can sprout from root crowns and stumps following fire. A significant portion of the post-fir reestablishment is from seed dispersed from off-site by birds and mammals. Following wildfire in a spruce-fir forest of Appalachia, downy serviceberry was present in stands after 30 years but was less than 1% of the total basal area. Gypsy moth larvae feed selectively on downy serviceberry.

Trees combat the greenhouse effect

Trees clean the air

Trees provide oxygen

Trees cool the streets and the city

Trees conserve energy

Trees save water

Trees help prevent water pollution

Trees help prevent soil erosion

Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays

Trees provide food

Trees heal

Trees reduce violence

Trees mark the seasons

Trees create economic opportunities

Trees are teachers and playmates

Trees bring diverse groups of people together

Trees add unity

Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife

Trees block things

Trees provide wood

Trees increase business traffic


Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Required Growing Conditions

Cultivation and Care

General Upkeep and Control