I love the idea that trees and the value of trees can be quantified through scientific study. That trees are not only a carbon sink and vital to environmental health but also benefit human health and well being.
I also love the idea that exposure to the natural world can improve human health. The University of Washington’s Urban Greening Research explains that “exposure to nature in the form of trees, grass, and flowers can effectively reduce stress….” A 15 to 30 minute period of time in nature during a work day can improve focus and job satisfaction and decrease illness. Repeated studies conducted by the US Forest Service found that areas deforested by the emerald ash borer had increased human illness or death from cardiovascular disease and lower respiratory disease due to the loss of trees. Yet another study shows a direct relationship between crime and trees. Basically, more trees means less crime and improved all-around health.
Here are a few more benefits trees provide:
- Help clean our air and water.
- Cool streams for native fish and other species.
- Reduce erosion.
- Reduce energy use, especially when strategically placed.
- Provide food.
- Conserve water.
- Cool city streets.
- Provide jobs and building materials.
- Mark the seasons.
- Create habitat.
- Screen or frame views.
- Create garden focal points.
- Bring people and nature together.
- Inspire happiness from the inside out.
Plant a tree. Plant a garden. Shoot or pass the pistil.
Nice post. I love that our town has lots of big old trees, though I worry about all the elms, ashes, etc. that are vulnerable to pests and diseases. The city is now trying to diversify the urban forest here so we are not so vulnerable.
Fab line — “diversify the urban forest” — for the reason you mention and for so many others. And what about native trees? Is this a city planning component?