Minnesota State Fair Tree Facts

Trees might not be the first thing you think of when you look back on your visits to the State Fair. For many of us, that would be the food—on a stick, of course. However, once we get that special treat, the next step is often finding a nice shady spot to enjoy it. And that is likely under the cooling shade of a big old tree.
Trees were on a stick before it was cool

Trees were first to have their food on a stick

The trees’ leaves use a process called photosynthesis to feed themselves. They convert sunlight into food. Chlorophyll is the chemical in leaves that helps the tree use sunlight to make food. It’s also what gives the leaves their green color. Chlorophyll absorbs the blue and red portions of the light spectrum, leaving the green to be seen. As fall approaches, the tree breaks down chlorophyll in the leaves into sugars and starches. This is then moved into storage cells in the twigs–the first food on a stick!

What kind of wood is used to make corndog and Popsicle sticks?

  • Food grade wooden sticks are often made of Baltic or white birch because it resists splintering.
  • Bamboo is a fast-growing grass and is becoming a popular environmentally friendly alternative to wood.
  • Chopsticks are also increasingly made of bamboo, as well as birch, and or other woods such a spruce or cottonwood.

Additional State Fair tree and stick facts

Now that’s a lot of sticks! In 2019, 2.1 million people visited the State Fair. If every person had an average of two food items on a stick, that would be over 4.2 million sticks!!!

How many trees are at the state fair?  There are approximately 2,700 trees on the State Fair Grounds and over half of them are ash trees. These 600 ash trees alone will intercept over 1.2 million gallons of water and absorb 519,000 pounds of atmospheric carbon per year.

How many EAB fans does Rainbow hand out every year at the fair?  Approximately 12,000 fans are shared with our booth visitors every year to keep them cool and provide education about Emerald Ash Borer.

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