DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s Arbor Day, the 150th celebration of trees. A group of state and local officials planted a tree on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol.

The City of Des Moines lost at least six to seven hundred trees in the derecho, and another eight thousand lost to the Emerald Ash Boer.  Now the state DNR is challenging Des Moines to increase it’s tree canopy by three percent. The City can plant 500- to 700 trees per year, the City has a budget of $200,00 a year to replant, and prune trees.

The DNR has challenged Des Moines to increase tree canopy by three percent by 2045. In order to meet the DNR goal around 3800 trees per year.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do we got derecho‘s, we got a lot of other stuff coming through,” said Mayor Frank Cownie at the Arbor Day celebration. “We have to not only plant the new ones but replace the old ones and get are getting damaged, by these ever more frequent and severe storms.”

“We all know about the significant weather events which have changed our tree canopy,” said Kayla Lyon, Director of the Iowa DNR. “There is a renewed focus on the importance of trees in our neighborhoods, and rural areas, in forests. At the state forest nursery in Ames the department of natural resources raises and sells native seedling  trees.’

“Actually the City of Des Moines gives away about 10,000 trees every year thanks to the in in partnership  with the Iowa State Nursery, so that’s coming up May 14th,” said Shane McQuillen, Des Moines City Forester.

People can sign up for 5 free trees to be given away at River Place on May 14th.

Here is the link, April 29th in the last day to signup for Des Moines Tiny Trees