University News

Trees Provide More than Shade

May 28, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- Have you thanked a tree today?

Perhaps you should, particularly after reading one of the "tree tags" around select trees on Western Illinois University's campus. The tags, which were provided by the Morton Arboretum following WIU's Tree Campus USA designation, illustrate just how much a tree "gives back" to the environment on an annual basis. Students in School of Agriculture Instructor Paul Blome's forestry class completed the fact-filled tags.

"With climate change becoming more and more of a concern, the importance of trees has never been so high, and I wanted our campus community to be aware of just how important trees are," Mandi Green, WIU sustainability coordinator, noted. " They provide storm water runoff reduction, carbon reduction, cleaner air and electrical energy savings, as well as improve the aesthetic value of property."

Trees can also serve as significant historic landmarks, such as the leaning sycamore tree over Lake Ruth and the large oak trees in front of Sherman, as well as serving the University's academic mission. Numerous departments across campus use a variety of the trees within coursework, and the School of Agriculture houses forestry courses taught by Blome.

According to the Morton Arboretum, researchers have determined that for every $1 invested annually in trees reaps approximately $2.70 back in benefits.

For more information on sustainability initiatives at Western, visit

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