Public Health and Social Benefits
Air Cleaning: Trees produce oxygen, intercept airborne particulates, and reduce smog, enhancing a community’s respiratory health. The urban canopy directly contributes to meeting a city’s regulatory clean air requirements.
Access to trees, green spaces, and parks promotes greater physical activity, and reduces stress, while improving the quality of life in our cities and towns.
- Urban landscaping, including trees, helps lower crime rates.
- Studies show that urban vegetation slows heartbeats, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes brain wave patterns.
- Girls with a view of nature and trees at home score higher on tests of self-discipline.
Climate change: Trees sequester carbon (CO2), reducing the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Read more about trees and climate change here.
- A tree is a natural air conditioner. The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of ten room-sizes, residential air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
- Acting as a natural air-conditioner, lush tree canopies ensure that summer temperatures are at least 6 to 8 degrees lower than in comparable neighborhoods without trees.
- Tree windbreaks can reduce residential heating costs 10-15%; while shading and evaporative cooling from trees can cut residential air-conditioning costs 20-50%.
Water filtration and retention: Urban forests promote beneficial water quality and reduce storm water management costs.
- Street and park trees can intercept 135 million gallons of rainwater. Trees capture and slow rainfall and their roots filter water and recharge the aquifer. Trees reduce storm water runoff, which reduces flooding, saves city storm water management costs and decreases the flow of polluted water into the Bay.
Wildlife habitat: Trees provide important habitats for numerous bird, insect and animal species.
Communities and business districts with healthy tree-cover attract new residents, industry, and commercial activity.
- Homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly and are worth 5% to 15% more than homes without trees.
- Where the entire street is tree-lined, homes may be worth 25% more.
- Trees enhance economic stability by attracting businesses; people linger and shop longer when trees are present.
- Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and offices rent more quickly and have a higher occupancy rate; workers report more productivity and less absenteeism.
Tree Benefit “Fun Facts”:
- Trees provide inviting and cool areas for recreation and relaxation such as playgrounds and parks.
- Trees create a tapestry of color and interesting form that changes throughout the year.
- The color green is calming and relieves eye strain.
- Trees screen unattractive views and soften the harsh outline of masonry, metal, asphalt, steel and glass.
- People walk and jog more on shaded streets, which encourage interaction with neighbors and improve the sense of community.
- Trees absorb and block sound, reducing noise pollution by as much as 40 percent.