A healthy forest calls for a healthy community. Kentucky holds one of the most diverse hardwood species mix forest in the U.S. Around 48% of Kentucky is forestland, equivalent to about 12.4 million acres.
Our Kentucky trees are not only one of our moneymakers in the timber industry, they are important to our health. Trees are great in storing carbon (called carbon sinks) and releasing oxygen. This is through the process of photosynthesis. A Silver Maple tree, living approximately 25 years, can sequester 400 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). This process helps reduce excess CO2 emissions in the air. Too much of one greenhouse gas in the air can inhibit our breathing and harm our health.
Knowing what is native in Boone County forests is key to a healthy forest. There are several invasive species that can disrupt a healthy forest. A few local examples are Emerald Ash Borer, Amur Honeysuckle, Callery Pear, and more recently, the Asian Longhorned Beetle.
There are around 46 native trees to Boone County. Here is a list of Boone County's native trees up to date. Remember, these are just native to the county. There might be more types of trees in the area due to the planting of nonnative trees! Sometimes this is a benign act.
Want to identify trees on your own? Make sure you grab a whole leaf (not just a leaflet!) and find out here!
It's actually great for our environment.
Watershed Project Manager Mark Jacobs and our partner Boone County Parks completed a controlled burn at Conservancy Park in March 2017.