Sure, trees are nice to look at. And they provide nice shade in the summer. But what are trees good for, really? Is it worth going through the bother to plant one? The answer to that is a definite yes. In fact, you may be surprised at just how many things trees are good for – including you, your yard, your neighborhood, and your environment.
For one thing, a tree is a good investment. Not only do trees increase property values for many homes, but they can also help reduce your energy bill. Many studies have shown trees have important health and social benefits as well. These include helping reduce stress and tension, helping block harmful ultraviolet rays, increasing your ability to concentrate, and reducing crime.
Of course, planting trees is also great for the environment.Trees help take pollutants out of the air we breathe, and they reduce our reliance on air conditioners in the summer by moderating the climate with their shade.
Trees also help reduce water runoff that can lead to sewer overflows because a tree can soak up a lot more water than a patch of asphalt. Trees harbor wildlife, providing a place for birds and squirrels to nest. Last, but not least, trees can provide that much-needed spot of color that can help beautify your yard.
Following are a few statistics on the benefits trees offer from the The National Arbor Day Foundation.
- “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” -U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- “Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent.” -Management Information Services/ICMA.
- One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” -U.S. Department of Agriculture
- “Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent.” -The National Arbor Day Foundation.
- In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” -Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University.