Guam celebrates Arbor Day in October when rain helps trees grow - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam celebrates Arbor Day in October when rain helps trees grow

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They keep our air clean and our island looking beautiful, and in honor of Arbor Day 2017, dozens of trees were planted near the governor's complex at Adelup during a celebration Tuesday morning, with residents encouraged to keep the effort going all month long.

Rain couldn't keep away the dozens of high school students planting trees at Adelup Tuesday morning. In fact, Department of Agriculture director Matt Sablan said rain is part of the reason Arbor Day is celebrated in Guam every October. He told KUAM News, "Now we celebrate Arbor Day here during this month which is the rainy season. It makes sense - it's when trees grow faster."

Various species of trees were planted by students from Southern and Simon Sanchez High Schools including the island's tree of life - the coconut tree. "Due to the infestation of the rhino beetle, we need reforestation," he explained.

Over the past several years Guam's coconut trees have been devastated by the invasive beetle, particularly after Typhoon Dolphin in 2015 left piles of green waste that helped the beetle reproduce and spread. However, University of Guam outreach associate Roland Quitugua said while Guam has lost many trees, it is far from losing the battle altogether, adding bio controls are currently being developed including a fungus and virus.

Meanwhile Sablan encouraged the community to put in place green waste management controls, adding various government agencies are working toward that goal through the implementation of an air curtain burner saying, "We are now in the procurement process, we finalized it, and its soon to be in operation."

Meanwhile, forestry division chief Joe Mafnas encourages residents to plant trees on their own, adding they should stay mindful of what trees grow best where. Mafnas said, "Obviously, trees are beneficial for the air, it cleans the air, 102 it also helps storm water runoff, it also helps in mitigating some fires and also soil erosion 113 but also in an urban setting where you see where all the businesses are at, it also improves the value of property and aesthetically, it's nice,"

Families can also join in on the annual Tricks or Trees Halloween Tree planting at the Masso Reservoir in Piti on October 29 beginning at 9am.

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