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Apple trees celebrated this Earth Day

Contact: Denise Yockey
(800) 456-2753

As people throughout the world unite to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, apple growers in Michigan are emphasizing the positive impact their orchards are having on the environment.

In general, trees keep the air supply fresh by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. According to the USDA Forest Service, an average tree cleans 330 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produces about 260 pounds of oxygen each year.

Trees also improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water, as well as protecting aquifers and watersheds. There are more than 8 million apple trees in commercial production statewide, with about 200,000 to 300,000 new apple trees planted annually.

Michigan Apple Committee Vice-Chairman Bob Colgren, second-generation apple grower from Lawrence, said there are many reasons to be thankful to the 1,000 apple orchards in Michigan.

“The carbon sequestering of our orchards contributes greatly to the Earth Day cause,” he said. “We are land conservators who each maintain our own water wells and are very concerned about keeping pure water quality, and doing our part to preserve the wild life habitat.”

Earth Day originated in 1970 when cities were particularly focused on smog and polluted waterways. Through the efforts of the U.S. government, grassroots organizations and citizens, the Earth Day observance has evolved into a global campaign. Its mission remains consistent: Cleaning the air, promoting land conservation and improving water quality.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.