Urban forests yield count­less ben­e­fits to us and our sur­round­ing envi­ron­ment. Trees can improve air qual­i­ty, sup­port envi­ron­men­tal health, strength­en com­mu­ni­ties, pro­mote phys­i­cal and men­tal health and pro­vide eco­nom­ic benefits.

Economic Benefits of Trees

Trees pro­vide numer­ous eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits. Trees can increase the eco­nom­ic rev­enue for retail shops, pre­vent unnec­es­sary costs of road main­te­nance, and increase prop­er­ty val­ues. Explore the fol­low­ing resources, which explain how trees can aid the economy.
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  • Mon­ey Grow­ing on Trees
    New soft­ware sys­tems devel­oped by the US For­est Ser­vice can break down the eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits of indi­vid­ual trees in an urban for­est; using the soft­ware pro­gram ‘i‑Tree’, it has been deter­mined that each tree in New York city pro­vides $9.02 annu­al­ly in air pol­lu­tion reduc­tion, $1.29 in car­bon seques­tra­tion and $61 in storm-water abatement.
  • How Trees Can Boost a Home­’s Sale Price
    Res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties with ‘street trees’, locat­ed between the side­walk and the street, sell at a pre­mi­um, and sell faster than prop­er­ties devoid of promi­nent trees. Neigh­bor­ing prop­er­ty val­ues of res­i­dences adja­cent to trees esca­late as well, even if there are no trees on the actu­al prop­er­ty in question.

Air Quality Benefits of Trees

Trees work in many dif­fer­ent ways to improve the qual­i­ty of the air. Removal of air pol­lu­tants and reduc­tion of ozone for­ma­tion are just a cou­ple of the ways that trees enhance atmos­pher­ic con­di­tions. To find out more ways trees help boost air qual­i­ty, explore the resources below.
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  • The Effects of Urban Trees on Air Quality
    In addi­tion to remov­ing pol­lu­tants, city trees cre­ate micro­cli­mates that help to shade and cool many con­crete and met­al urban struc­tures. Low­er­ing the tem­per­a­ture of an urban ‘heat island’ through trees can lead to more ener­gy efficiency.
  • Car­bon Stor­age and Seques­tra­tion by Urban Trees in the USA
    Size mat­ters: Fast grow­ing, large trees in the open canopy of the urban for­est sequester and store more car­bon on aver­age than their dense­ly con­cen­trat­ed rur­al relatives.
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Health Benefits of Trees

Trees con­tribute mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits to our health. Pro­mot­ing phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, increas­ing hos­pi­tal recov­ery time, and less­en­ing the symp­toms of ADD are just a hand­ful of the ways trees boost phys­i­cal well-being.
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  • Trees Linked With Human Health, Study Suggests
    Peo­ple liv­ing in an area recent­ly cleared of its trees suf­fer increased rates of death from heart and res­pi­ra­to­ry disorders.
  • How Hos­pi­tal Gar­dens Help Patients Heal
    Less than 10 min­utes view­ing the ele­ments of nature, includ­ing trees, can low­er blood pres­sure, alle­vi­ate mus­cle ten­sion, and alter heart and brain elec­tri­cal activ­i­ty enough to induce relax­ation, hav­ing long-term effects on over­all health.
  • Trees could affect land use, reduce skin cancer
    A tree pro­vid­ing 50% canopy cov­er­age can pro­tect a per­son shel­ter­ing beneath its branch­es from the sun’s harm­ful ultra­vi­o­let radi­a­tion for up to 100 min­utes; some­one stand­ing beneath a canopy of 90% cov­er­age ben­e­fits from UV ray pro­tec­tion the equiv­a­lent of wear­ing SPF 10 sunscreen.
  • Using Trees and Shrubs to Reduce Noise
    Urban noise can be dis­tract­ing, if not down­right aggra­vat­ing. A veg­e­ta­tive buffer 100 ft. wide can reduce noise lev­els 5–8 deci­bels; ever­green trees offer year-round noise reduction.
  • How liv­ing near trees can save your life
    The air pol­lu­tion reme­di­at­ing ben­e­fits of trees are most effec­tive in areas of greater pop­u­la­tion den­si­ty, like urban areas. One esti­mate quotes that up to $6 bil­lion in health­care costs can be avoid­ed by plant­i­ng more trees.
  • A Tree-lined Path to Good Health
    A Japan­ese tra­di­tion­al heal­ing method known as shin­rinyoku, or ‘for­est bathing,’ con­nects reg­u­lar time spent in for­est areas with a stronger immune sys­tem response. In this tra­di­tion it is believed that trees release an array of phy­ton­cides, organ­ic antimi­cro­bial essen­tial oils that stim­u­late immune response.
  • The Health Ben­e­fits of Trees
    A study has shown that women recent­ly diag­nosed with breast can­cer had bet­ter focus and con­cen­tra­tion after spend­ing just two hours a week in nat­ur­al settings.
  • Lon­don­ers Liv­ing Near Street Trees Get Pre­scribed Few­er Antidepressants
    Urban­ites whose home range includes tree-lined streets are diag­nosed and treat­ed for symp­toms of clin­i­cal depres­sion less often
  • Green Space Will Low­er Stress For City Dwellers, Reduce Heart Risks
    An indi­vid­u­al’s heart rate drops an aver­age of 5 beats per minute (bpm) in the pres­ence of city spaces “post-beau­ti­fi­ca­tion” by tree plant­i­ng and incor­po­rat­ing green­space. Over­all lev­els of feel­ings of opti­mism increase in the same environment.
  • Sci­en­tists dis­cov­er that liv­ing near trees is good for your health
    Accord­ing to a Cana­di­an study, urban street trees have even more health ben­e­fits to the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion, based in part on their increased accessibility.

Social Benefits of Trees

Trees fos­ter a strong social com­mu­ni­ty. Hav­ing trees in com­mu­ni­ties have been known to strength­en social devel­op­ment, reduce crime, and pro­vide spaces for peo­ple to come togeth­er. Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing resources to dis­cov­er how trees build a bet­ter community.
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Environmental Health Benefits

Trees offer var­i­ous means for sup­port­ing the over­all health of the envi­ron­ment. Trees sup­ply wildlife habi­tats, increase bio­di­ver­si­ty, and reduce cli­mate change. Check out the fol­low­ing resources to dis­cov­er the ways trees pro­mote envi­ron­men­tal health.
Aca­d­e­m­ic Articles: 
News Articles: 
  • Urban Nature: How to Fos­ter Biodiversity
    The urban tree canopy, through the inclu­sion of a vari­ety of native species, can help sup­port, shel­ter and feed many species of birds and oth­er wildlife that are often over­looked in cities.
  • Trees for Wildlife: Ben­e­fits for Wildlife
    All stages of tree life and death are ben­e­fi­cial to wildlife, and should be incor­po­rat­ed into urban forests. Dead and decay­ing trees pro­vide nest­ing, shel­ter, and nutri­ent recy­cling for many ani­mals and plants, while com­ple­ment­ing the canopy’s liv­ing trees.Trees also offer spe­cif­ic water ben­e­fits. Trees inter­cept rain­fall before it hits the ground, allow­ing for a slow­er release into the ground and evap­o­ra­tion. In addi­tion, tree roots absorb storm water and sta­bi­lize frag­ile slopes and ripar­i­an zones-reduc­ing sed­i­ment run-off. Accord­ing to the 2014 City of Pitts­burgh Street Tree Inven­to­ry, the city’s 33,000 street trees alone inter­cept 15 mil­lion gal­lons of stormwa­ter a year, for an aver­age of 60 gal­lons per tree. This fig­ure will only increase as the tree canopy matures.
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