JOPLIN, Mo. — The landscape of Joplin continues to recover from the city’s devastating tornado twelve years ago.
The Missouri Department of Conservation estimates 15- to 20,000 trees were lost in that one-day event.
thousands have been planted since. Conservationists tell us losing that many in such a short time has an impact on wildlife and a human aesthetic.
Trees turn a house into a home, and they help beautify streetscapes. So, replacing what was lost continues to be a priority.
“Yes, there’s an economic value to them. The shade helps control energy costs. Yes, there’s a wildlife habitat value to them, even here in the city. Birds nest in them, various animals use them for various reasons. But there’s also a therapeutic value. All conservation aside, there’s a comfort value to them, and that’s important, too,” said Francis Skalicky, Media Specialist MO Dept of Conservation.
Skalicky reminds us tree recovery is a long, patient process.
It will still take several years for the newly planted trees to replace the benefits of the mature ones that were lost in the storm.