At another blog I used to write for I had a weekly (well, mostly weekly) series for a while called Hug This Tree. I miss it because one, I personally like trees, and two I think that trees and nature in general are important focuses for green families. That said, I’m kicking this series back up here at Growing A Green Family. But before we jump into great trees you can plant or just adore, I thought we’d take a look at some of the benefits that trees provide.
Trees are awesome for all sorts of reasons. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows that trees fight asthma in kids. Children who live near trees are far more active than kids who don’t live near trees. Trees can save you money on energy costs.
All of the above are reasons enough to jump on board with tree hugging, but luckily, for the doubters, trees have many other benefits that you may not have heard of. The Morton Arboretum offers some amazing facts at their website about the many (research proven) ways that trees have a positive effect on people’s lives, including positively impacting health, homes, businesses, communities, drinking water, and air quality.
Trees have economic benefits:
- Shoppers who shop in well-landscaped business districts are willing to pay more for parking and up to 12% more for goods and services, which as you might guess, is a huge perk for businesses.
- Landscaping with trees can significantly increase property values.
Trees benefit your health:
- Desk workers with and without views of nature were surveyed. Those without views of nature, when asked about 11 different ailments, claimed 23% more incidence of illness in the prior 6 months.
- Hospital patients recovering from surgery who had a view of a grove of trees through their windows required fewer pain relievers, experienced fewer complications and left the hospital sooner than similar patients who had a view of a brick wall.
- Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children are relieved after contact with nature. Specifically, ADHD kids are better able to concentrate, complete tasks, and follow directions after playing in natural settings. The greener the setting, the more relief.
- Drivers who are exposed to roadside nature scenes have a greater ability to cope with driving stresses and ample trees can reduce road rage.
Trees conserve energy:
- The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
- Fifty million shade trees planted in strategic, energy-saving locations could eliminate the need for seven 100-megawatt power plants.
Trees themselves save the planet:
- Modest increases of 10% canopy cover in the New York City Area were shown to reduce peak ozone levels by up to 4 parts per billion or by nearly 3% of the maximum and 37% of the amount by which the area exceeded its air quality standard. Similar results were found in Los Angeles and along the East Coast from Baltimore to Boston.
- Trees halt runoff and erosion; in fact, research shows that 100 mature leafy tree crowns intercept about 100,000 gallons of rainfall per year, reducing runoff and providing cleaner water.
Trees improve your world:
- Trees reduce noise pollution – a belt of trees 98 feet wide and 49 feet tall can reduce highway noise by 6 to 10 decibels.
- Trees in Davis, California, parking lots reduced asphalt temperatures by as much as 36 degrees Fahrenheit, and car interior temperatures by over 47 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Views of trees can reduce the stress response of both body and mind when the stress of urban conditions are present.
- Trees reduce crime! Apartment buildings with high levels of greenery had 52% fewer crimes than those without any trees. Buildings with medium amounts of greenery had 42% fewer crimes.
- Trees help girls succeed. On average, the greener a girl’s view from home, the better she concentrates and the better her self-discipline, enabling her to make more thoughtful choices and do better in school.
For more ways that trees benefit your family and world visit THE BENEFITS OF TREES at the The Morton Arboretum. Coming up (likely on the weekends) we’ll be looking at some cool trees to hug here at Growing A Green Family, as well as easy tips to help you get involved with tree planting where you live.