Trees Help Your Health
Numerous Studies have proven many health benefits of being surrounded by trees. These include: reduction in asthma, strokes and heart attacks, lower rates of diabetes and hypertension and general improved immune system function (to name a few).
Most of these benefits can linked to the fact that trees are giant air filters that clean and cool our air, but other research points to even more interesting ways tree help. For example, the color of light that trees create has been linked to lower blood pressure and stress chemicals. Some studies even show that the smell of trees can help you recover from electric shocks!
Trees are an essential part of helping people get outside, which is one of the most important thing you can do for your health. Doctors are prescribing nature for a variety of health reasons, and the evidence is mounting that being around trees improves all sorts of measurable aspects of your physical well being.
Whatever the reason, you are healthier when you live, work and play around trees!
Trees enhance Your Wealth
Trees make you, your neighborhood, your businesses, and your community more wealthy!
Plant and keep trees near your house! If they are on the south side, they can cut your air conditioning bills by half. Not to mention that trees in neighborhoods and front of houses can increase market prices by up to 20%.
Due to the immense environmental and ecological benefits of trees, including reduced air pollution, stormwater control, carbon storage, improved air quality, and reduced energy consumption, residents who live near a sufficient number of trees benefit from reduced utility bills and fewer diseases and stress, which have significant long term monetary savings.
Trees boost Your Happiness
Trees make us happier! Trees have significant and long-lasting impacts on all aspects of our mental health from birth to death, and all the activities we do in between.
Trees make us happy! Looking at trees or being around them increases our happiness, reduces stress, and even makes us more optimistic!
Trees help us as students by increasing our ability to focus, lowering incidents of ADD/ADHD, and reducing bullying and aggression. One study out of Chicago even found that kids going to schools with lots of trees scored higher on math tests!
Trees help us as adults (and probably always) by lowering our anxiety and depression and increasing our sense of peace and belonging.
These impacts are so big and important, the doctors are even prescribing to their patients spending time around trees and nature!
Trees For Wildlife
Trees provide food, shelter, and nesting spots to many species of organisms, and trees’ symbiotic relationships with many species of insects, birds, and mammals highlight the critical importance of trees in our ecosystems.
Bees eat the flowers on trees. Flowers provide nutrient-rich pollen and nectar that bees use for energy and to make honey. Bees, in return, cross-pollinate fruit trees with other tree varieties, which allows the trees to produce fruit.
Caterpillars and other insects burrow into trees to reproduce and eat tree leaves. These bugs become food for birds who are building nests, incubating eggs, and feeding young under the protection of a tree. Birds and small mammals eat tree flower buds.
Pine cones are food sources for birds and small animals, such as squirrels and chipmunks.
In cities, trees deflect sunlight, which reduces the ‘heat island effect’ that plagues urban areas. The Durham City-County Planning Department defines this: “The urban heat island effect explains why metropolitan areas are often significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas. As urban areas develop, buildings, roads, and other infrastructure replace open land and vegetation. These impermeable materials absorb and trap heat, causing ambient temperatures to rise. At night the trapped heat is radiated back into the atmosphere, further increasing the ambient temperatures. Heat islands can affect communities by raising summertime energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and incidence of heat-related illness or mortality.”
TREES AND WATER
Trees mitigate stormwater runoff, which is rainfall that accumulates or flows over ground surfaces that don’t absorb water, like roads, driveways, parking lots, and rooftops. Stormwater runoff causes water pollution because the water collects bacteria and pollutants when it comes in contact with these surfaces, and ‘runs off’ through drains into streams and rivers. When stormwater does not have anywhere to go, it can cause flooding. Trees solve this problem by absorbing and holding great amounts of water and can protect neighborhoods and cities against flooding. Tree roots also protect against soil erosion during heaving rain or flooding.
Trees absorb CO2, helping to slow climate change and global warming. Young trees absorb CO2 at a rate of about 13 pounds per tree each year. At about 10 years old, they absorb about 48 pounds of CO2 per year. A tree stores the CO2’s carbon and releases enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. Beyond filtering the air, trees can even reduce noise pollution.