How Trees Can Make a Difference
Trees improve the quality of air
Trees are often considered the lungs of the earth and for a good reason. Trees clean the air by absorbing and trapping air pollutants through their leaves, thus helping to minimize the level of contaminants in the air. Additionally, trees produce and release oxygen through a process known as photosynthesis.
Tree help to improve water quality and mitigate flooding and soil erosion
Trees intercept precipitation using their leaves and stems, allowing for some of the captured water to slowly drip into the ground while the rest evaporates back into the atmosphere. The larger the tree canopy, the more the amount of water captured. Tree roots, on the other hand, hold the soil in place, thus reducing soil erosion. All these factors make trees the perfect tool for lessening the force of storms and reducing the amount of runoff into waterways, thus improving water quality. 100 mature trees can intercept up to 100,000 gallons annually.
Trees help regulate the climate
Trees help to cool the environment and reduce humidity levels. They also help to moderate wind speeds. When water evaporates from tree surfaces, it takes away some of the heat in the surrounding environment, thus reducing the local air temperatures. The more the trees, the more the evaporation, and the more the cooling effect.
One of the reasons cities get hot is the fact that dark roofs and pavements usually absorb solar energy and radiate it back. Trees around parking lots have been found to reduce car interior temperatures by up to 47 degrees Fahrenheit and asphalt temperatures by up to 36 degrees Fahrenheit. As a side point, you may want to make yourself familiar with what a tree hazard assessment is and how it is carried out.
Trees conserve energy
Planting trees around your property can help you realize great energy savings. To begin with, trees placed strategically on the sunny side will provide some shade to your home, thus shielding it against the hot summer sun. This way, you can reduce your cooling costs by up to 30%. Deciduous trees are an excellent choice for this as they also lose their leaves during the winter season which provides access to the warming winter sun. You won’t have to use as much energy to heat up your home. Coniferous trees, on the other hand, keep their needs throughout the year which serve to break the force of wind when placed strategically on the north and northwest sides of your home. This helps to minimize indoor heat loss by the wind.
Trees benefit the economy
Did you know that towering trees on your property can make it 9-15% more valuable than if it didn’t have any surrounding trees? Studies have shown that customers tend to spend more time along shaded avenues than those without trees. They are also more likely to pay more for goods and services.
Trees offer a home to wildlife
Anywhere there are many trees or forests you are sure to find other plants and animals. Trees play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. They are a source of food and shelter to a wide range of birds and small animals.
Trees promote good health
According to research, spending time around trees and also looking at them helps to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve one’s mood. In fact, hospital patients with bedside windows looking out on leafy trees tend to recover faster than those without. In addition, children suffering from attention deficit disorder saw a reduction in their symptoms after spending time in green outdoor settings.
Trees can prevent crime
Evidence shows that apartment buildings surrounded by towering trees report fewer crimes than those without trees.
Trees lower noise pollution and can improve privacy
If you live near a noisy highway, a belt of trees 50 ft tall and 100 ft wide can lower can reduce the noise by up to 10 decibels, essentially cutting it by half. Closely planted trees can also help block unwanted views and enhance your privacy.
Tree planting promotes a sense of community
Actively participating in local tree planting programs helps to promote a sense of pride and community. It also promotes environmental responsibility and ethics and can also encourage other community renewal and action programs.