THE IMPACT OF TREES IN OUR LANDSCAPE
Not only are trees beautiful but they can save you money, make you money, increase your health, save our planet, support wildlife, and make you friends. If you aren’t a tree hugger now, maybe today is the day to start.
Benefits to the Air we Breath
You’ve probably heard the term “greenhouse effect”. In short, heat from the earth is trapped in our atmosphere by high levels of heat-trapping gases. The heat is unable to be released into space, ergo the greenhouse effect. About half of the greenhouse effect is caused by carbon dioxide.
Trees use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis which removes it from the atmosphere (good for us), and returns oxygen back into the atmosphere as a byproduct (even better!). One mature tree can absorb about 50 lbs of carbon dioxide per year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 of us. Trees are the least expensive and most effective way to remove the carbon in the air and replenish our oxygen.
Another efficient way that trees reduce the greenhouse effect is through the cooling effect of their shade. The shade from one tree can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30%, reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned to produce electricity. In fact, that one tree in the city can be as effective in cutting carbon dioxide as 15 trees in the forest.
Trees also help improve air quality by absorbing and removing pollutants through their leaf surface. 300 trees can counter balance the pollution that one person can produce in a lifetime.
Benefits to our Water
Trees are the most important filter you’ll come by (yes…more important than your coffee filter). The tree canopies, trunks and roots act as a natural pollution filter by reducing runoff which carries pollutants into the streams and sewers. Trees will also use and remove nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from the soil which are harmful to our water quality.
Saving our Energy
A properly located tree near your home can save you 20-25% annually in energy use compared to a house with no trees. How it works; a tree provides shade and transpire water which lowers surrounding air temperature. The evaporation of one single large tree can equal the cooling effect of 10 household air conditioners operating 24/7. The structure of a tree will also block the wind during the winter months reducing our heating costs.
Helping our Community
Yes, trees play a huge role in helping the community. A treed neighborhood will increase the real estate value of your home, even more so if your house is on a treed lot. The value can increase by up to 15%, and given the cost of installing a tree is approximately $500, you are looking at an outstanding return on your investment. Also, studies have shown houses sell and apartments rent more quickly in treed areas and have a higher occupancy rate; same goes for business spaces and new developments.
It has also been proven that treed streets will help increase traffic safety. Tree-lined streets seem narrower which slows people down and, closely spaced trees give the illusion of speed (they seem to whip by as you drive) which also keeps speed in check.
But the icing on the cake is that if you plant a tree, you will have better relationships with you neighbours. Yes, your neighbours will love you, I swear, research has proven this.
So, plant a tree today for a better world tomorrow.