A new online tool showcases climate change’s impact on future hardiness zone maps
LINCOLN, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Arbor Day Foundation and The Davey Tree Expert Company are unveiling a new online tool to educate homeowners and tree planters about how climate change is impacting the country’s future plant hardiness zones.
“Climate change is already affecting people and the planet in so many ways and those changes are even impacting the types of trees we should be planting in our own yards and community green spaces,” said Dan Lambe, CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation. “These interactive future hardiness zone maps are designed to help homeowners visualize the impact of climate change and determine which trees planted today will thrive in the decades to come.”
Hardiness zones divide the United States into areas based on a 10-degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual minimum temperature. The zones help inform what trees, shrubs and plants can survive and thrive in that zone.
The Davey Institute created the new interactive website based on data and maps compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. The maps and projections help demonstrate how a warming climate will change hardiness zones by the middle and end of this century. Users can search for specific zip codes throughout the United States to learn their local zone’s current state and coming changes to the zones forecasted well into the future.
The future hardiness zone map also forecasts for homeowners and tree planters the change in plant hardiness zones based on both a low and high emission scenario. Currently, global patterns of greenhouse gas emissions correspond most closely with the high emission scenario. Realizing the lower emission scenario will require significant mitigation measures yet to be implemented.
“As greenhouse gas emissions continue to warm the climate, the palette of trees that will thrive in a particular area will also change,” said Dan Herms, Vice President of Research and Development for the Davey Tree Expert Company. “In fact, the climate is warming fast enough to change the hardiness zone within the lifespan of trees planted today, so this tool is even helpful today as homeowners look to plant trees in their yards that will thrive in our changing environment.”
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.
As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.
About The Davey Tree Expert Company
The Davey Tree Expert Company, established in 1880 and headquartered in Kent, Ohio, provides research-driven tree services, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting for residential, utility, commercial and environmental partners in the U.S. and Canada. With 11,000 employees, Davey Tree is the eighth largest employee-owned company in the U.S.
Arbor Day Foundation