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Learn about the Wisdom of Trees

A closeup of dewy conifer seedlings just a few inches tall

Learn about the Wisdom of Trees

Trees give us countless benefits and offer us wisdom on so many subjects.  

A scientist in a forest writes on a chart of scientific equations


Through photosynthesis, trees remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and release oxygen (O2) for us to breathe. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Because trees absorb and store carbon, they reduce the amount in the atmosphere and help slow climate change.


Did you know that just spending time around trees can improve your mental health? Research has found that time spent in forests can:

  • Improve mood
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Sharpen mental focus

These mental health benefits can lead to physical benefits, too, such as lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and more energy.

A woman peacefully reclines on a blue couch in the forest
A man in a forest wearing business attire points to a chart of forest industry information


Trees are not only pumping oxygen into our atmosphere, but they’re also pumping money into Michigan’s economy.

Each year, forest products like lumber and paper contribute $22 billion to our state’s economy and support 91,000 Michigan jobs. Our beautiful forests also attract tourism, and tourism adds another $20 billion and hundreds of thousands of Michigan jobs.


Trees help our environment by:

Preventing soil erosion. Trees block strong winds, their roots hold soil in place, and their leaf canopies reduce the force of rainwater as it hits the ground.

Improving water quality. Trees act as filters to reduce water pollution.

Preventing flooding. Trees absorb water and manage runoff.

Providing homes for animals. Hundreds of species of animals live in Michigan forests.

A peaceful forest scene with a body of water
Workers in a greenhouse weed and care for tree seedlings


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources manages four million acres of state forests using the art and science of sustainable forestry. These practices are certified by two outside organizations. Sustainable forestry practices like these make forests healthier and include:

  • Carefully planning the harvest and replanting of trees
  • Fighting disease
  • Controlling invasive pests
  • Working to prevent wildfires

Wise things you can do to support Michigan's forests

Given all that forests do for us, it is wise to support them. Here’s how you can help:

Plant a tree – or many. Help the DNR meet its pledge of planting 50 million trees in Michigan by 2030. Learn more about the Mi Trees effort and get tips for tree planting and tree care.

Visit our state forests.  Go camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking — or just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Learn more about enjoying Michigan’s forests.

Learn about sustainable forestry and spread the word.  Sometimes when people see trees being harvested, they think state forests are being destroyed. But harvesting is a part of sustainable forestry, just as replanting is. Learn how we manage our forests for everyone to enjoy, now and forever.     

Practice fire safety. People start 9 out of 10 wildfires. Following these tips can help keep both you and our forests safe. Learn fire safety rules.   

Volunteer or donate to Adopt-a-Forest. Our forest clean-up program needs your help! Learn more about Adopt-a-Forest.