If you would have asked me a week or two ago if fire danger would be high this spring I would have laughed. Fast forward to now and I’m not laughing. I’m also trying to not think about the weather conditions from 11 years ago either. 11 years? It hardly seems possible the Ham Lake Fire happened that long ago but I guess it did. That could be why my symptoms of PTSD of dealing with wildfire have lessened…
In any case, until the trees green up there’s always a better chance of a fast moving and growing fire. Conditions are dry due to the lack of rainfall this spring and the forecast calls for high winds. A red flag warning is predicted for much of Minnesota today. Hopefully folks will avoid the temptation of burning anything until we’ve received some much needed precipitation.
To help celebrate Arbor Month, the Department of Natural Resources has created three short and fun videos that demonstrate how to plant, water, and mulch trees. Planting trees is the easiest and most natural way to keep water clean.
“We Minnesotans can thank trees for the clean water we drink,” said Jennifer Teegarden, forestry outreach specialist. “These new videos show you how to easily plant and care for trees so that they provide clean water for generations to come.”
So how, exactly, do trees keep water clean?
Trees act like giant umbrellas: Trees slow down and guide rain as it falls to the ground, keeping soil and sediment runoff out of rivers and lakes.
Trees act like sponges: Mature trees soak up 25-35 percent of the rainwater that falls on them. In fact, 100 mature trees keep about 140,000 gallons of water out of storm sewers each year.
Trees function as filters: The soil underneath trees traps sediment and pollutants suspended in rainwater. This prevents these contaminants from entering ground and surface waters.
Watch the new videos on the DNR’s Arbor Month webpage, which also includes information about Arbor Month celebrations throughout the state. For more Arbor Month and clean water information, follow @mnforestry on Twitter.