Plant Trees to Reduce the Effects of Climate Change!
Each year, Minnesota celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday of April (April 30, 2021) and Arbor Month during the entire month of May. In 2021, Governor Walz issued Arbor Day and Arbor Month proclamations for Minnesota, emphasizing the importance of planting trees to reduce the effects of climate change.
Minnesota temperatures have risen by 2°F since the early 20th century. Winter temperatures are warming the fastest, stressing tree species that thrive in colder climates and helping invasive plants and insect species flourish.
Average annual statewide precipitation has increased, generally in the form of larger rainfall events. More frequent, heavy rain events are increasing soil erosion and flooding in parts of the state.
At the same time, warmer temperatures are causing drier conditions in other parts of the state. Droughts are among the greatest stressors to forests and yard trees, often leading to disease outbreaks on stressed trees and increased wildfire risk.
Check out our Planting trees and seedlings webpage for helpful videos and instructions on how to plant trees. Our Caring for newly planted trees webpage features videos and tips on how to water a newly planted tree and how to mulch a tree. Watch a recording of our Ask a Forester live session from Arbor Day where our experts answered questions on planting and caring or trees in a changing climate.
What can we do to decrease these impacts of climate change?
- Plant a diversity of trees that are likely to thrive in your part of the state.
- Select the right species for your area, and plant trees that are drought-tolerant in drier areas and flood-tolerant for flood-prone areas.
- Plant deciduous trees directly east and west of homes to reduce need for air conditioning.
- Add conifer trees to the north and west of homes to block cold winds, reducing the energy needed for heating.
- Plant trees along boulevards to shade concrete buildings and streets, lower air temperatures and prevent the effects of "urban heat island".
- Care for trees by mulching, watering, and pruning them correctly.
- Create vertical layers of trees and shrubs to intercept rain and reduce stormwater runoff.
- Plant flood-tolerant species along streams or flood-prone areas. These species are suggested.
Best native yard trees for our changing climate
Explore Minnesota native trees that will do well in our changing climate and make great additions to your yard. Best native yard trees for our changing climate lists the best trees for your yard, based on your location.
Follow us on social media:
- Watch for and share daily Arbor Month tweets from DNR Forestry (@mnforestry)
- Watch for and share weekly Arbor Month posts on the DNR's Facebook page (@MinnesotaDNR)
- Watch a live Ask a Forester event happening on April 30, on DNR's Facebook page.
Tree planting and care
Check out our Planting trees and seedlings webpage for helpful videos and instructions on how to plant trees. Our Caring for newly planted trees webpage features videos and tips on how to water a newly planted tree and how to mulch a tree.