JOPLIN, Mo. -- New homes and businesses are sprouting throughout Joplin, replacing the thousands destroyed in the deadly May 22 tornado.
But one thing that is missing will take decades to restore: the trees. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the tornado killed an estimated 98 percent of the trees in the storm's main path, stretching about a half-mile wide and four miles long.
Just three years ago, the city proudly won its first Tree City USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. Now, neighborhood once shaded by a dense canopy of foliage look like new subdivisions.
Steps are being taken to restore the trees. A group called A Tree Grows in Joplin has given away dogwoods. The state also has pledged funding and tax credits for new trees.