How do trees benefit the Bay?
A tree planted on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay or one of its tributaries touches its surroundings like few other of our planetís resources. It softens the rain that falls through its leaves allowing earth and plants to remain in place and filter the rain water as it moves to the water. As the wind weaves through its limbs and leaves, the dust, smoke and pollen that hitched a ride are filtered out and held rather than dulling the surface of the water.
Even the sounds of motorboats on the river get caught up in the treeís dense mass and bounce back and forth among the wood and leaves until only a small echo remains. The thick roots lace through the soil of the river bank, protecting the bank against the wind and waves.
A tree is busy every moment of its life protecting the water, saving energy, cleaning the air, offering shelter for fish and a perch for their hunters. One large tree can eliminate 5,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year and well placed trees can help reduce energy costs by 15 to 35 percent. All it asks in return is a little help getting started and, once in a while, a caring hand.
Under a new program to encourage citizens to participate in increasing tree cover in our state, the Marylanders Plant Trees website -- www.trees.maryland.gov -- offers citizens $25 discount coupons for tree purchases, valuable planting advice and an opportunity to calculate benefits and registers trees to contribute to short and longer term statewide goals.
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