Trees and forests

view of lake through pine trees with pinic table

Forests and trees enrich our lives in so many ways. Beyond their beauty, they provide shade and wildlife habitat. They are nature's water purification system, absorbing pollutants and trapping sediment before they pollute our lakes, rivers, and drinking water supplies.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it for hundreds and even thousands of years. They also provide timber products, food, and medicine, and generate jobs and economic opportunities.

close up of Ironwood tree flower

Forest types and tree types

Almost one-third of Minnesota—about 33 percent—is forested and home to 53 native tree species.

pond with trees at shoreline

Tree benefits

Minnesota depends on its forests in many ways. They help filter drinking water, provide habitat for a diverse array of plants and animals, supply oxygen, moderate temperatures, and store atmospheric carbon. Forests are a beautiful playground and quiet outdoor retreat.

pond with trees at shoreline

The DNR takes care of trees

DNR's Division of Forestry manages the lifecycle of 5 million acres of Minnesota's forested land. From seed to harvest to reforestation, we care for the state's forested lands to ensure they remain strong and healthy for the next generation. It's a big job—one we take very seriously. Learn how we do it.

Back to top