They’ve been a part of your life ever since you were a child, and yet, it’s easy to take trees for granted. You may enjoy the shade they provide or the beauty they display, but the importance of trees goes well beyond aesthetics. The world’s trees and environment have played a huge role in the helping humankind thrive. Here’s how.
10 Good Things About Trees
- Trees provide oxygen.
Trees alone can produce enough oxygen to support all human oxygen needs in North America. In fact, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, one mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen as 10 people inhale in one year.
- Trees help conserve energy.
Looking to save money on your energy bills? Place a few trees strategically around your home. A single-family dwelling can cut air conditioning use up to 50 percent with just three trees planted in the right areas spots. And the more we reduce the amount of energy needed to cool our houses, the more we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. When it comes to the importance of trees, it doesn’t get much more compelling.
- Trees help cool our communities.
Everyone loves a sunny day, but sometimes the heat can be oppressive. The relationship between trees and environment is an important one, considering the shade they create can cool a city by up to 10°F. That goes a long way toward breaking up so-called urban “heat islands” like Los Angeles and Manhattan.
- The benefits of oak trees make this species our national tree.
With more than 60 species growing in the United States, oaks make up America’s most widespread hardwoods. These mighty trees cast enough shade to cool the ground, block wind and help stabilize soil with their root systems. No wonder it was chosen as our national tree.
- Trees help fight climate change
An excess of CO2 in our atmosphere has dangerous effects on our planet, like climate change. Trees help by absorbing the carbon and releasing oxygen back into the air.
- Trees Help Keep the Air Clean
Trees improve air quality by absorbing pollutant gases and odors, and filtering out particulates by trapping them on their bark and leaves.
- Trees and Environment Boost Property Value
Many people love tree-lined streets or a perfectly landscaped backyard, and it shows in the real estate market. Strategically placed and well-cared trees on a property and their surrounding neighborhood can increase property values by as much as 15 percent.
- Trees Boost Business Traffic
Speaking of tree-lined streets, the beauty they create often slows traffic. Studies have shown that business districts surrounded by trees and landscaping have more business traffic. Perhaps people notice the stores easier as they drive slowly by.
- Trees Have Therapeutic Effects
Scientific research shows that mental fatigue can be eased with exposure to trees, hospital patients heal faster with fewer complications when they have a window-view of trees, and kids with ADHD experience fewer symptoms with access to nature.
- Trees Provide Food
Food is one of the most deliciously good things about trees. Many species of trees feed humans, birds and wildlife. In fact, an apple tree can produce up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year.
Remember the Importance of Trees and They’ll Last Even Longer
Many of our nation’s forests and woodlands are threatened by weather events and human actions. With so many benefits of oak trees, and the many other species that provide so much to our lands, remembering the good things about trees can help keep them thriving for years to come.