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The Benefits of Trees to the Environment | Why Care More?

The Benefits of Trees to the Environment are massive — stretching over long periods of time. By providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, supporting wildlife, etc.

But, eventually, tree planting in cities and urban areas face a difficult environment. Paved hardscapes limit access to rainfall irrigation and the engineered requirements of pavement are completely opposite to what a tree needs to grow.

Tree Benefits

What is the Purpose of Tree Planting? – Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

As an example, the adoption of GreenBlue Systems helps provide an optimal condition to give trees a fighting chance. Reaching mature in otherwise, harsh urban conditions. Equally important, soil support cells allow for generous root growth while also providing the structural stability needed for paved surfaces.

Not forgetting, ArborSystem helps in all this by bringing together the key elements of successful tree pit design. Simplifying the design and installation process for specifiers and contractors.

Then again, desert greening projects are also motivated by improved biodiversity and the reclamation of natural water systems. But also, improved economic and social welfare due to an increased number of jobs in farming and forestry.

Why are Trees important?

Basically, there are more than a million reasons as to why tree planting is a must for the cities. For one thing, trees improve the livability of our cities for countless benefits. However, for many years tree canopy in our urban areas has been decreasing.

Large mature trees that reach the end of their lives are often replaced with smaller species – if at all. These replanted trees then struggle to establish and reach maturity due to the demands of paved surrounds around them.

In reality, researchers have discovered reductions in both violent and petty crime. Including domestic violence through the therapeutic, calming influence of mature tree planting.

As time has gone on, more and more research has confirmed the value and benefits that mature urban trees offer our cities. Organizations such as ‘American Forests’ and ‘Trees Forever’ actively campaign in support of trees in urban areas.

Here are the tree benefits to the environment that you should know;

Tree Benefits to the Environment

Of course, we’re all talking about Climate Change. But, for more than the obvious, tree benefits sequester carbon (CO2). Reducing the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Air Conditioning & Energy Conservation:

Whereby, a tree is a natural air conditioner. The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of ten room-size, residential air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.

For instance, acting as a natural air-conditioner, Palo Alto’s lush canopy ensures that summer temperatures are at least 6 to 8 degrees lower than in comparable neighborhoods without trees.

Additionally, tree benefits us through windbreaking, reducing residential heating costs 10-15%. While shading and evaporative cooling from trees can cut residential air-conditioning costs 20-50%.

Water Filtration & Retention:

Urban forests promote beneficial water quality and reduce stormwater management costs.

As an example, Palo Alto street and park trees can intercept 135 million gallons of rainwater. Trees capture and slow rainfall and their roots filter water and recharge the aquifer.

In addition, trees reduce stormwater runoff, which reduces flooding, and saves city stormwater management costs. Decreasing the flow of polluted water into the Bay. As well as protecting the banks of the San Francisquito Creek.

Trees also provide natural wildlife habitat for numerous birds, insects and animal species.

Increased Health & Well-Being:

Notably, trees have proven to have a positive impact on a variety of health conditions. Like skin cancer, asthma, hypertension, and other stress-related illness. Especially, by filtering out polluted air, reducing smog formation, and providing shade from solar radiation. As well as, providing an attractive, calming setting for recreation.

In fact, Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates, carbon monoxide, cadmium, nickel, and lead are all pollutants that trees work on. And in that case, constantly removing them from the air.

In addition, planting trees along the lanes also forms an effective sound-absorbing barrier. Particularly, to help reduce unwanted urban noise pollution. Above all, the biodiversity of trees in providing natural habitats for birds, squirrels, and other fauna are considered to some as incalculable.

Read more about trees and climate change here.

Tree Benefits to the Economy

Communities and business districts with healthy tree-cover attract new residents, industry, and commercial activity.  Not forgetting, homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly. And they are worth 5% to 15% more than homes without trees.

On the other hand, where the entire street is tree-lined, homes may be worth 25% more. Trees enhance economic stability by attracting businesses. People linger and shop longer when trees are present.

Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and offices rent more quickly and have a higher occupancy rate; workers report more productivity and less absenteeism.

Cost Savings and Property Values:

For every Kshs. 100 spent on trees, there is a return benefit of Kshs. 250 received; according to the United States Forest Service.

A similar study performed in the U.K. by Natural England calculated that every Kshs. 150 spent on tree planting yielded Kshs. 750 savings. Or even, a potential £2.1 billion if taken nationally.

Independent studies have shown a consistent 5-15% increase in property values on tree-lined streets. Proving that trees increase commercial and residential real estate values.

Visual Appeal & Cooling Effects:

Few things can compare with the visual impact and seasonal interest that trees bring. They offer immense visual appeal to any area and will enhance the design of any streetscape. Reducing temperatures by shade and transpiring water. In the end, this helps in reducing air conditioning bills and energy use.

After all, studies report have even proven that one mature tree can produce the same cooling effect as 10 room-sized air conditioners. Therefore, this becomes an effective tool in reducing urban heat islands and hot spots in cities.

Managing Stormwater & Increasing Liveability:

For every 5% of tree cover in a community, stormwater runoff is reduced by 2%. By all means, preventing stormwater runoff from reaching watercourses. Especially, with harmful chemicals collected from roads and sidewalks.

Of course, tree planting in cities significantly reduces wind speed up to a distance of 10 times their height. Naturally, trees improve the livability of urban areas for many reasons.

However, for several years now, tree canopy in our cities and towns has been diminishing. Then again, replanted trees often struggle to establish and reach maturity due to the demands of engineered surfaces around them.


Important to realize, the more mature the tree, the greater the benefits.

Notably, there is a 3-7 % ozone reduction for every 10% canopy increase in the urban. Trees are also proven to remove carbon from the air, getting absorbed and stored as cellulose in their trunks, branches, and leaves (a process known as sequestration).

Therefore, tree planting remains one of the most cost-effective ways of drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A single mature tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 21.6 KG/year. Releasing enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 humans.

Research has also shown a 60% reduction in particulates from car exhaust fumes on streets lined with trees. Not to mention, trees can also save up to 10% of local energy consumption. Through their moderation of the local climate.

Resourceful References;

With all these benefits in mind, we must ensure that new urban tree plantings receive what they need. Having said that, feel free to Donate and support our projects or even Contact Us if you have additional contributions.

Finally, to learn more about the benefits of urban trees, Download the Free PDF Guide here. See the related and useful list of organizations campaigning for tree planting in cities below;

  1. Our Work – American Forests
  2. The United States Forest Service – Homepage
  3. Trees Forever | Nonprofit Environmental Group | Iowa
  4. Establishing the Future Urban Landscape – GreenBlue
  5. The Green Belt Movement – Wangari Maathai

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