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SWCD announces ‘top trees’ in contest

10/31/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Summit Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has announced the winners of the 2013 Big Tree Contest. Nearly 50 entries were received from the participating communities.

The six winning trees are:

  • silver maple, Chestnut Street in Cuyahoga Falls;
  • silver maple, Highbridge Road in Cuyahoga Falls;
  • American elm, Herrick Park Drive in Hudson;
  • pin oak, Cathy Drive in Munroe Falls;
  • white oak, Ritchie Road in Stow; and
  • pin oak, Kent Road in Stow.

According to the Summit SWCD, trees provide many benefits:

√ Trees help prevent flooding and reduce runoff by holding water on leaves, branches and bark.

√ Trees planted along streams act as buffers and filter pollutants from storm water runoff.

√ Tree roots anchor the soil in place, preventing erosion and the resulting sediments from entering streams and rivers. A 20-inch diameter American elm will absorb more than 2,500 gallons of storm water annually.

√ Leaves and needles on trees attract and absorb harmful particulates and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That same elm can absorb 760 pounds of carbon dioxide annually and save 281 kilowatt hours of energy while cooling an urban heat island.

√ Trees also provide financial benefits, improving curb appeal and increasing property values.

The SWCD provided this contest as a way to educate Summit County residents on the impact trees have on many facets of the natural environment, especially storm water quality and quantity. SWCD used statistics provided by the Tree Benefits Calculator at www.treebenefits.com/calculator/ (a joint project of Davey Tree and Casey Tree) to calculate the benefits of each tree entered in the contest, including storm water interception and containment (or collection and holding). The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry scoring system for the State Big Tree contest also was used for this contest. The six winning trees all had scores above 300 points, and all absorb greater than 6,400 and 7,200 gallons of storm water annually.

For more information, visit www.summitswcd.org or contact staff@summitswcd.org or call 330-929-2871, ext. 16, or link to the Division of Forestry at www.ohiodnr.com.

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