Trees are a major component of a local ecosystem, and quietly perform many roles that affect our everyday lives. Here are 10 benefits trees provide each day:
1. Trees improve air quality and release fresh oxygen.
Leaves absorb gases and particles that damage human lungs, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter smaller than 10 microns.
One acre of trees provides enough oxygen for 18 people, while each year absorbing an amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving a vehicle 26,000 miles.
2. Trees improve water quality in their local watersheds.
Maintaining tree cover is critical for sustaining water quality and conserving soil. Tree canopies intercept the impact of billions of raindrops, directly reducing soil erosion and stormwater runoff—some of the biggest threats to water quality.
3. Trees clean soils.
Phytoremediation is the absorption of dangerous chemicals and other pollutants that have entered the soil.
Trees can store harmful pollutants or even change pollutants into less harmful forms.
Trees filter sewage and chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, and clean roadside spills and storm water runoff before they enter our waterways.
4. Trees anchor and sustain wildlife.
Native trees are the natural, preferred habitat for many indigenous birds, bugs, insects, mammals, and more. Some animals and organisms are so specialized, their survival hinges on the availability of a single, particular species of tree.
5. Properly placed trees save energy and mitigate the urban heat island effect.
Trees properly placed around a building reduce air-conditioning needs by as much as 30%.
Deciduous trees provide cooling shade in summer and allow warming sun in winter; evergreen trees can serve as a winter windbreak.
The cooling effect of one large shade tree is equal to fifteen 4,000 BTU air-conditioning units.
6. Trees can increase the economic stability of an area.
National Arbor Day Foundation reports that in tree-lined and forested areas, people linger and shop longer, apartments and offices rent more quickly, and tenants keep their leases longer.
USDA Forest service studies show that healthy, mature trees add an average of 10% to a property’s value.
7. Trees provide a substantial return on a modest investment.
According to the international society of arboriculture, for each dollar a city invests in the care of street trees, there is a seven dollar yield in economic and ecological value to that community.
8. Trees add beauty to our urban landscape.
Trees soften our cityscapes, leaving citizens and visitors with softer, more verdant impressions of the area.
9. Trees relieve stresses associated with living in urban or metropolitan areas.
Trees help foster feelings of relaxation and well-being. Medical research indicates that patients assigned to a room with a view of trees and green spaces experience shorter postoperative stays.
10. Trees Control Noise Pollution.
Trees muffle urban noise almost as effectively as stone walls. When planted at strategic points in a neighborhood or around your house, trees can abate major noises from freeways and airports.