The trees in our urban forest bring us a wide range of benefits, from increasing the appeal of our neighborhoods to helping our environment, to improving the health and social well-being of our communities.
In this blog, we wanted to share some of the top benefits of trees in our community. If you can think of a benefit that we’ve missed, leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the blog!
You may be surprised to learn that trees in our urban forest offer many economic benefits to homeowners, business owners, and municipalities alike.
Homes landscaped with trees are typically worth 2 –15% more than homes without trees, while homes located on a tree-lined street may be worth up to 18% more.
Part of the reason for this perceived value may be that trees help homeowners conserve energy. In the summer, the shade provided by trees can help reduce the costs of air conditioning, while in the winter, trees can serve as a windbreak and reduce heating costs.
Similar to homes, businesses with trees will tend to attract more customers. Studies have shown that people tend to shop and linger for longer at a business landscaped with trees.
Finally, trees can also help municipalities save on stormwater management costs, by providing a natural means of reducing the impact of stormwater. Read more about this in the next section!
If you know anything about the environment, then you’ll be aware of the importance of trees — but you might not know about all of the environmental benefits that trees can provide.
What you’ll probably know is that trees will absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, store it, and release oxygen back in the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gases. What you might not realize is that trees also absorb a range of other pollutants like dust, nitrogen oxide, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and more.
Trees do a great job of cleaning pollutants from the air, but they also serve the same purpose for water. When rain falls in a neighborhood with trees, the trees serve as natural storm drains. Their root systems absorb the water, prevent soil erosion, and reduce water pollution in the area, helping preserve the environmental health of nearby bodies of water.
Finally, trees provide a welcome habitat for insects, birds, and other animals in our urban landscape.
In addition to helping our environment, trees provide a number of direct health benefits to people. Trees clean the pollution from our city air, provide cooler streets for walking, and shield pedestrians from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Access to green spaces with trees will also promote physical activity in local residents and leads to reduced stress. Studies have shown that areas with more trees tend to have inhabitants with lower blood pressure and better respiratory health.
Trees can also help people heal! An often-cited study published in 1984 showed that recovering patients with views of trees and gardens out their windows healed faster from surgery, infections, and a range of other conditions than patients with a view of a brick wall.
While there are many well-known benefits to trees, what’s perhaps the most overlooked in trees is the way that they shape our community and social environment.
Trees create natural privacy for homes in a community, blocking views into neighboring yards and allowing residents to enjoy the peace and quiet of their homes alone with their family.
In addition to creating natural windbreaks for homes, trees provide a natural form of insulation to reduce noise pollution in a neighborhood. Studies have also shown that neighborhoods with trees may actually deter criminal activity and violence.
Another study has shown that tree-lined streets help improve traffic safety, by making streets appear narrower and prompting cars to drive more slowly.
It’s clear that there are many benefits to having trees in our community. Are you doing your part to promote the health of your urban forest?
If you want to learn more about how you can improve the health of your trees, contact our team of professional arborists today for more information.