When thinking about the many benefits of trees, the usual answers may come to mind, such as providing oxygen and shade and beautifying our neighborhoods. However, there are so many more benefits we receive from our leafy friends that you may be unaware of. In this month’s blog, we will discuss some of those attributes; environmentally, economically, and socially.
Environmental Benefits of Trees
Aside from providing us much-needed oxygen as stated above, trees offer us many additional environmental benefits. Through a process called transpiration, trees pull water up from their roots and out of the leaves as water vapor. This process along with shade from the leaves cools the surrounding air and reduces heat on hard surfaces which can lead to decreased structural repair costs.
A few other environmental benefits include reducing stormwater runoff and erosion by holding soil in place, sequestering carbon (CO2) which reduces the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and providing habitats for wildlife.
People are naturally drawn to well-maintained neighborhoods with mature trees. It’s no mystery that nice trees and landscapes will raise property values. Research has shown shoppers are attracted to retail areas with trees and shop longer.
Furthermore, well-placed trees can reduce utility costs by offering shade or wind blocks to buildings. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that the strategic placement of a few trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually.
Shade trees should be planted on the west side of structures for the most effective utility savings. A few deciduous shade trees we recommend in our area are the Shantung Maple, Sugar Maple, and Black Gum trees. Evergreen trees are a great choice on the North side of structures for a wind block. Some evergreens we recommend are the Green Giant Arborvitae, Norway Spruce, and Southern Magnolia.
Social & Psychological Benefits
Perhaps some of the most surprising benefits from our leafy friends come in the category of social and psychological. Research has shown that walking among trees is good for health and well-being by lowering stress, benefiting our immune systems, lowering blood pressure, and boosting overall mood.
Some studies have shown reduced recovery times for patients who have views of trees out their window.
Additionally, research has shown a reduced amount of crime in areas with more tree cover. According to one study, a 10 percent increase in trees decreased crime by 12 percent.
With the many benefits of trees we gain, we consider them our silent partners in the community and as a company, strive for “tree preservation for the next generation”.
Maximizing these benefits means caring for the trees on your property through routine pruning, plant health care services such as fertilization and insect control, inspecting for diseases, and having an arborist on your property frequently to identify and recommend what your trees need.