Human response to trees goes well over and above merely noticing their splendor. We feel peaceful, calm, restful, and tranquil inside a grove of trees and shrubs. We’re “at home” there.
The soothing effect of nearby trees and city greening can substantially decrease office stress levels and fatigue, relax traffic, and even reduce the recovery time needed following surgical treatment. Trees also can minimize crime. Apartment buildings with high amounts of green space have lower crime rates than nearby apartments with no trees.
The prominence, strength, and endurance of trees provide them with a cathedral-like value. Due to their potential for long life, trees are often selected and planted as living memorials. We sometimes become personally attached with trees that we, or those we love, have grown.
The powerful tie between individuals and trees is usually obvious when community residents speak out against the elimination of trees to expand streets or move to save an especially large or historical tree.
Even when situated on a personal lot, the advantages supplied by trees can reach well out into the encompassing community. Furthermore, large-growing trees can come in conflict with power lines, views, and buildings which are past the bounds of the owner’s property. With appropriate selection and upkeep, trees can easily enrich and function on one property without infringing on the rights and privileges of neighborhood friends.
City trees frequently serve a number of architectural and engineering functions. They offer privacy, highlight views, or screen out undesirable views. They decrease glare and reflection. They direct walking traffic. Trees offer background to and also soften, complement, or improve architecture.
Trees provide natural elements and wildlife habitats into city surroundings, all of which improve the quality of life for residents of the town.
Trees affect the environment in which we live by moderating local climate, enhancing air quality, decreasing storm water run-off, and sheltering wildlife. Neighborhood climates are moderated from intense sun, blowing wind, and rainwater. Radiant sunshine is soaked up or deflected by foliage on deciduous trees during the summer and is only filtered by limbs of deciduous trees during winter. The larger the tree, the better the cooling effect. By making use of trees in the metropolitan areas, we are able to moderate the heat-island effect brought on by pavement and buildings in commercial locations.
Wind speed and direction is impacted by trees. The more compact the leaves on the tree or group of trees, the more efficient the windbreak. Rain, sleet, and hail are taken in or slowed down by trees, supplying some protection for individuals, pets, and structures. Trees intercept water, store a lot of it, and minimize storm water runoff.
Air quality is improved by using trees, shrubs, and turf. Leaves filter the air we take in by getting rid of dust and other particles. Rainwater then washes the contaminants to the ground. Leaves soak up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and store carbon as growth. Leaves also take in other air contaminants – such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide – and put out oxygen.
Planting Trees and Shrubs
By planting trees and shrubs, we return developed locations to a more natural environment which is appealing to birds and wild animals. Ecological cycles of plant development, reproduction, and decomposition are again found, both above and under ground. Natural harmony is restored to the metropolitan environment.
- Lower Crime
The presence of trees in urban neighborhoods has been linked to reduced crime.
- Cleaner Air
Trees provide the oxygen we breathe. One acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe each day and eliminates as much carbon dioxide from the air as is produced from driving a car 26,000 miles. Tree leaves help trap and remove tiny particles of soot and dust which otherwise damages human lungs and tree root networks filter contaminants in soils producing.
- Clean water
Forty trees will remove 80 pounds of air pollutants annually. That is, 4 million trees would save $20 million in annual air pollution cleanup.
- Energy savings
Trees lower the temperature through shade. The cooling effects of trees can save millions of energy dollars. 3-4 shade trees located strategically around a house can cut summer cooling costs by 30-50%. For one million trees, that’s $10 million in energy savings.
- More public revenue
Studies have shown that trees enhance community economic stability by attracting businesses and tourists. People linger and shop longer along tree-lined streets. 40,000 trees in commercials parking lots would induce shoppers to spend 11% more for goods and services.
- Higher property values
Property values of homes with trees in the landscape are 5 – 20% higher than equivalent properties without trees. 4000 trees in yards would increase the sales price of homes by 1%, plus increase the property values as much as 10%. That is an estimated annual increase in homes sale value of $10.4 million.
- More efficient stormwater management
Roots stabilize soil and prevent erosion by trapping soil that would otherwise become silt. Silt destroys fish eggs and other aquatic wildlife and makes rivers and streams shallower, causing more frequent and more severe flooding. Trees along streams hold stream banks in place to protect against flooding. One tree reduces 4000 gallons of storm water runoff annually. 400 trees will capture 140,000 gallons of rainwater annually. That is, 4 million trees would save $14 million in annual storm water runoff costs.