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The Lake News Online
  • Day trippin': A ‘tree-mendous’ time among the trees

  • Missouri Conservation states that The Park of Champions, “has a tree canopy averaging one hundred twenty feet tall with several trees more than one hundred forty feet tall”.
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  • Missouri Conservation states that The Park of Champions, “has a tree canopy averaging one hundred twenty feet tall with several trees more than one hundred forty feet tall”.
    Visitors can search out more than 40 reptile species plus other varmints and critters. Once covering the Missouri boot heel area, Big Oak Tree State Park is the last remaining piece of continuous hardwood bottomland forest. Established in 1937, the park area was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1986.
    Some of the largest trees in America are at home in the park. Visitors can hike, fish, and picnic in this extraordinary park atmosphere. Bird watching is a must-do while walking in the park. Some 150 species of birds are at home in the area.
    Several trees are state champions. Champion trees are measured in girth, height and crown spread. Big Oak Tree State Park has four champion trees.
    The number of champions changes due to storm damage or the death of a tree. One of the trees is a national champion. One state champion, a persimmon tree, is one hundred thirty two feet tall. The average height for a persimmon tree is sixty feet.
    A few facts from the Missouri Department of Conservation (mdc.mo.gov) are as follows:
    •Trees along streets in Missouri’s communities provide $148 million annually in benefits, including energy savings, increase in property value, and storm-water retention.
    •Neighborhoods with well-shaded streets can be up to 10°F cooler than neighborhoods without street trees.
    •Trees properly placed around buildings as windbreaks can save up to 25 percent on winter heating costs.
    •For every 10 percent increase in forest cover in a watershed, costs to clean drinking water decreases by approximately 20 percent.
    •The presence of street trees in a neighborhood increase the sale prices of houses by an average of $8,870.
    •Missouri’s forests store more than 5 million tons of carbon.
    •100 mature trees intercept about 100,000 gallons of rainfall per year, reducing runoff and providing cleaner water.
    •The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
    •People tend to be more familiar and socialize more with neighbors in neighborhoods with trees.
    •Trees contribute positively to downtown shopping areas. People are willing to spend 12 percent more for goods and services in downtowns with trees.
    •Trees along streets promote physical activity in children and increase longevity of the elderly.
    •Those who commute along tree lined roads remain calmer (lower pulse and blood pressure) and drive less aggressively than those who drive along less treed roads.
    Page 2 of 2 - Missouri Department of Conservation offers a Tree Benefit Calculator for Missourians to find out how much trees in our yards save citizens. Go to www.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/trees-work/how-trees-and-forests-benefit-you.
    Be sure to bring your camera. You may want to plan to spend the night at a local inn. The park is south of Sikeston, about 280 miles from the lake area.

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