Benefits of urban tree planting
Energy and Economic Benefits
- Cooler Temperatures: The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equal to 10 room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.
- Reduces Energy Costs: Just 3-4 shade trees strategically located around a house can cut summer cooling costs by 30-40%. Planting trees strategically can also reduce winter heating costs by blocking winter winds and allowing winter sunshine to warm houses.
- Adds Value to Homes: Trees and vegetation can raise property values up to 37%. Trees also beautify neighborhoods and cities which attracts outside investors.
- Reduces Pavement Maintenance: According to the EPA, tree shade can slow deterioration of street pavement, decreasing the amount of maintenance needed.
- Helps Stop Climate Change: Trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that are trapped in our atmosphere and cause the climate to warm.
- Reduces Urban Heat-Island Effect: According to the EPA, increasing tree and vegetation cover lowers surface air temperatures by providing shade and cooling through evapotranspiration.
During the summer, buildings, roads, and other structures in cities, which are made from materials such as concrete and asphalt, absorb heat from sunshine and slowly release it. As a result, urban areas are typically several degrees warmer than greener and less densely developed areas that surround them. The difference can be especially noticed at night, when cities are much slower to cool off. This phenomenon is the urban heat-island effect (City of Boston).
- Enhances Stormwater Management and Water Quality: According to the EPA, trees reduce runoff and improve water quality by absorbing and filtering water.
- Prevents Erosion and Flooding: Trees can reduce annual stormwater runoff by 2-7% and their roots stabilize steep slopes by slowing down runoff, keeping soil in its place.
- Creates Wildlife Habitats: Trees provide food and shelter to birds, insects, and animals and can help restore endangered ecosystems.
Social & Public Health Benefits:
- Healthy Kids: Kids in tree-lined neighborhoods have lower rates of A.D.D. and asthma.
- Provides Oxygen and Improves Air Quality: Trees release oxygen for us to breathe and they reduce air pollutants that are harmful to human health.
- Protection from Sun: Trees shield and protect people from harmful rays that can cause skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.
- Reduces Violence: Studies have shown that tree planted neighborhoods have lower crime rates and incidences of violence.
- Reduces Noise: Tree-lined streets reduce noise pollution by absorbing sounds and slowing down traffic.
- Enhances Well-Being: According to Urban Releaf, research has shown that the visual beauty and sensual enhancement of trees elevates people’s moods and improves their mental health.
- Strengthens Community Values: Planting trees creates more livable urban neighborhoods which results in increased socialization and community pride.