MARSHALL - Plant a tree and save a little on your electricity bill.
Customers of Marshall Municipal Utilities can purchase small trees for just $1 each from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through May 2. MMU is located at 113 S. 4th Street in Marshall.
Three types of trees are offered: Colorado Blue Spruce, Maple Rubrum and Little Leaf Linden.
Photo by Jodelle Greiner
Zach Fossum of Marshall tries to bag the roots of a maple tree with some help from his son, Joey, 5. He and his wife, Heather, center, brought their kids to Marshall Municipal Utilities to pick out a tree during MMU’s Tree Planting Program through May 2.
"Planting trees can provide shade and decrease the need for air conditioning in the summer," said Brad Roos, general manager at MMU.
The three varieties were chosen because "these will do well in this area and climate," Roos said. "Plus, we want to do both conifers like spruce and pine, and deciduous, leafy trees. Diversity is good. In thinking long-term, you try to diversity the species that you plant."
He wasn't sure which type was more popular.
"A lot of people like different spruce trees for blocking the wind," said Kyle Boerboom, MMU plant operator, who was overseeing the program Monday evening. "Some people like the linden and maples. They are shade trees which help cut down the sun in the summer time."
"We think it makes our community have a wonderful tree canopy and everyone benefits from and enjoys that," Roos said.
That's why MMU has offered the trees for the past 15 years.
In 1996, the American Public Power Association had a campaign to plant one tree for every electrical customer, Roos said. "We thought that sounded like a good idea and kept it going," he added.
It helps MMU in a number of ways.
"This gives us an opportunity to educate the public to not destroy the underground electrical facilities when they plant in their yard," Roos said.
"The production of electricity in power plants as they burn fuel releases CO2 (carbon dioxide)," Roos said. "Trees absorb CO2 and use it in the growth of the tree and make oxygen. Planting trees is a step in assisting in that desire to balance the production of CO2 and use of CO2."
MMU gives out approximately 600 trees a year, or about 9,000 over the past decade-and-a-half, he said.
The trees usually go well each year, he said. If any are left over, "we plant them in the nursery and they are replanted in public parks," he said, adding those trees were used when it was time to landscape around the new Marshall High School.
"It's a very popular program and one where we can give back to our community," Roos said.