Benefits of Trees

Urban trees provide more that just shade for picnic tables and parking lots. The following is a list of benefits that we all receive from our urban forest:

Energy Cost Savings


Trees offer shade and protection from the elements, making it easier to maintain constant temperatures throughout a building’s interior space. Heating and air-conditioning systems do not have to work as hard or as long resulting in significant savings to home and business owners.

Perception of Quality & Value


Homes and offices set in an environment with mature trees are typically more appealing and valued at a higher rate. In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, builders reported that 43% of home buyers would pay up to $3000 more for wooded lots and 30% would pay up to $5000 more. A Bank America Mortgage survey of real estate agents showed that 84% believe a home with trees would be as much as 20% more likely to sell.

Protecting the Environment


Trees can minimize runoff and help developers comply with stormwater requirements without relying so heavily on expensive retention facilities and sediment traps. They prevent soil erosion and reduce water pollution by holding soil in place and preventing the transport sediments and chemicals into streams.

Improving Air Quality


Trees trap and hold dust particles that can damage human lungs. They absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and, in turn, replenish the atmosphere with oxygen. One acre of trees provides oxygen for 18 people and will absorb the amount of carbon dioxide each year equivalent to that produced by a car driven 26,000 miles.

Noise Pollution Reduction


Trees act as buffers against roadways and other noise producing sources by absorbing unpleasant sounds from the urban environment.

Increasing Economic Stability


The National Arbor Day Foundation reports that people linger and shop longer along tree-lined streets. Apartments and offices rent more quickly and tenants stay longer in wooded areas. Studies conducted by the USDA have shown that healthy, mature trees add an average of 10% to a property’s value.

Beauty


By softening the harsh lines of the urban world, trees play an important role in visitors’ first impression of a community.

Wildlife Diversity


Trees create a local ecosystem and provide suitable habitat for animals and birds that would otherwise be absent from urban areas.

Crime Reduction


Crime levels in communities are reduced when there are extensive street tree systems and well-landscaped parks.

Traffic Calming


The Institute of Transport Studies at England’s University of Leeds has found that street tree plantings have a traffic calming effect. Tree lined streets act as psycho perceptive measures, which subtly slows traffic and encourages speed limits of 25, 30 or 35 mph by making roadways appear narrower. Landscaping along streets provides a separation between motorists and pedestrians and reduces the visual width of the roadway. By presenting a visual narrowing of the roadway, trees and other landscaping create an image of the street that is one of a place rather than a through route.