The Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization, knows trees and
the value they have for the landscape and for the atmosphere. Read why
trees are important and see the effects of global warming on the USDA planting
Zones. Has your garden zone moved? Find out in "Tree Selecting
from the Arbor Day Foundation." They have developed a new arborday.org
Hardiness Zone Map that reflects the warmer U.S. climate.
The latest hardiness zones are based on the most current temperature data
available. By inserting your zip code at
the Arbor Day Foundation website, you will find a list of suggested trees to
plant in your zone using the latest climate change criteria.
FROM THE ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION
Nebraska City, Neb. news release – Much of
the United States has been warmer in recent years, and that affects which trees
are right for planting.
Based on the latest comprehensive weather station
data, The Arbor Day Foundation has released a new 2006 arborday.org Hardiness
Zone Map that separates the country into ten different temperature zones to
help people select the right trees to plant where they live.
The new map reflects that many areas have become
warmer since 1990 when the last USDA hardiness zone map was published.
Significant portions of many states have shifted at least one full hardiness
Much of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, for example,
have shifted from Zone 5 to a warmer Zone 6. Some areas around the country have
even warmed two full zones.
In response to requests for up-to-date
information, the Arbor Day Foundation developed the new zones based on the most
recent 15 years' data available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations
across the United States. Hardiness zones are based on average annual low
temperatures using 10-degree increments. For example, the average low
temperature in zone 3 is -40 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low
temperature in zone 10 is +30 to +40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The new 2006 arborday.org Hardiness Zone Map is
consistent with the consensus of climate scientists that global warming is
underway. Tree planting is among the positive actions that people can take to
reverse the trend.
Tree planters across the nation can go to
arborday.org, click on the Hardiness Zone link, and enter their zip code to
determine their hardiness zone.
"The Arbor Day Foundation supports tree
planting throughout America," says Foundation President John Rosenow.
"Providing the hardiness zone for individual zip codes at arborday.org is
an important part of that goal, by giving tree planters the most up-to-date and
useable data available."
"Of course existing trees should continue to
be cared for," said Woody Nelson from the Arbor Day Foundation.
"Certain species may be more vulnerable to stress with the current warmer
climate, but they will continue to provide environmental and economic benefits
as they grow. It's just a good idea to consider more tree species diversity for
Planting trees helps counteract global warming.
Trees counteract global warming in multiple ways.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide is the leading contributor to global warming, and as
trees grow, they remove CO2 from the atmosphere, storing the carbon and
releasing oxygen. A single tree can remove more than a ton of CO2 over its
Also, shade provided by trees reduces summer air
conditioning needs. According to the USDA, the cooling effect of a healthy tree
is equal to 10 room-size air-conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
Trees reduce the "heat-island" effect in
urban areas, where summer temperatures are generally warmer than the
surrounding countryside. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 50 million
strategically placed shade trees could eliminate the need for seven
100-megawatt power plants.
Additionally, trees around homes and in cities
slow cold winter winds, reducing the need for winter heating. This relief on
fuel consumption for heating and cooling helps reduce CO2 emissions from
burning fossil fuels.
Detailed information about which trees are best
for planting throughout the country, the value of trees, and the latest warmer
hardiness zones can be found at www.arborday.org.