50 Ways Trees Benefit Our Health, Community and Environment

With about three trillion trees on the planet, fortunately most of us don’t have to go far to find one.

However, even though they exist on almost all corners of the earth, trees are still heavily exploited and at risk from human activity. Humans cut down about 15 billion trees every year, and according to researchers, before we came around, there were about twice as many trees on the planet.

Thankfully, researchers are continuing to prove how crucial trees are for our planet’s survival in an effort to stop deforestation. If that is not reason enough to save them, they may also impact everything from our stress levels to our air conditioning bill.

50 Benefits of Trees

50 Benefits of Trees

Photo Credit: Marvin Foushee via Flickr

Personal Benefits

 

  1. Hospital patients recover more quickly, and with fewer complications, if they can view trees outside.

  2. Trees in the landscape relax us; they lower our heart rate and reduce stress.
  3. According to one study conducted in London, people who live in areas with more trees have fewer antidepressant prescriptions.
  4. Trees — such as pine, cedar and Eucalyptus — provide beautiful aromas to soothe and delight us.
  5. Trees also supply inspiration for the creative arts such as painting and ceramics.
  6. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature.

  7. Your favorite tree can give your kids a chance to make bark rubbings of leaf rubbings using crayons and paper.
  8. Whether as houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees provide a space for human retreat.
  9. When you consider the visual impact of trees and how long they last, trees are one of the least expensive plants to add to your yard.
  10. Trees provide food: An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year. Aside from fruit for humans, trees provide food for birds and wildlife.
  11. A tree can add music to your life by attracting singing birds.
  12. Trees can separate and define space, which can give you a sense of privacy, and create a feeling of relaxation and well being.
  13. Trees are beautiful to look at (most of the time).
  14. Climbing trees provides wonderful, fun exercise.
  15. Some trees are considered sacred. The specific tree varies between cultures, but those believed to be sacred may be especially beautiful, have an unusual size, or other distinct characteristics.
  16. Studies have found that workers are more productive when they can see trees or plants from their office windows.

    Giant sequoia forest in Sequoia National Park |   50 Benefits of Trees


    Environmental Benefits

     

  17. Trees are carbon sinks, meaning that they absorb more carbon than they release.
  18. Trees clean the air by absorbing odors and potentially harmful gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone).
  19. Trees fight climate change: Excess carbon dioxide (CO2) is building up in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Trees absorb CO2 and release oxygen back into the air.

  20. Trees can also filter particulates (dirt) out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
  21. Deciduous trees act as a natural air conditioner by blocking sunlight in the summer and allowing sunlight to reach and warm your home in the winter.
  22. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.

  23. By reducing heating and cooling costs, trees can reduce dependance on oil and natural gas.
  24. Cooling also occurs when water evaporates from the leaf surface.
  25. Fallen tree leaves can reduce soil temperature and soil moisture loss. Decaying leaves promote soil microorganism.
  26. At the same time, they increase ground water recharge and cut back on the number of harmful chemicals transported to our streams.
  27. The presence of trees gives shade, which creates microclimates where you can grow shade-loving plants.50 Benefits of TreesImage credit: USFWS via Flickr

  28. Trees help reduce surface water runoff from storms, thus decreasing soil erosion and the accumulation of sediments in streams.

  29. Trees provide habitat for wildlife: Sycamore and oak are among the many species that provide excellent homes for birds, bees and squirrels.
  30. Other animals that live in trees  include the flying lemur, the koala, the spider monkey, and the tree kangaroo.
  31. Even snags, or standing dead trees, provide a home for several different species. Beetles and tree frogs can live under a snag’s bark, while woodpeckers and other birds feed on the insects that live in snags.
  32. Parkour for squirrels: Watch the squirrels in your yard or at a park skitter along tree branches at amazing speeds, on those “squirrel highways.”
  33. The lives of trees are intimately bound up with the growth of fungi. Trees and fungi exchange vital nutrients between their roots, and each depends on the other.
  34. If you love to eat truffles, that delicious French delicacy, you may be aware that they cannot be planted; instead farmers plant oak trees, since truffles only grow near the roots of certain oaks.
  35. Trees can provide a windbreak: the more compact and dense the foliage on the tree or group of trees, the more effective the windbreak.
  36. All forms of precipitation, rain, sleet, hail, are slowed by trees, providing some protection for people, pets, and buildings.
  37. If the U.S. had 100 million trees living around city spaces, we would save about $2 billion in energy costs each year.

    50 Benefits of TreesImage credit: Randy Lemoine via Flickr


    Community Benefits

     

  38. The strong tie between people and trees is often evident when community residents speak out against the removal of trees or rally to save a particularly large or historic tree.
  39. Trees make communities more livable; People walk and jog more on streets with trees.
  40. Trees bring natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban surroundings, and this increases the quality of life for residents.
  41. Trees increase the value of property. Houses surrounded by mature trees may sell for 7 -19 percent higher than houses with no trees.
  42. Children and adults have a cool place to play or relax in the summer, and this may increase their interaction with neighbors.
  43. Trees can camouflage ugliness like concrete walls, parking lots and unsightly views.
  44. They also muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create a wonderful canopy of green.
  45. Trees cool city streets.
  46. Trees provide unity: As landmarks, trees can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.
  47. Trees can create a lasting positive impression on how a community is perceived by visitors.
  48. Community economic stability is enhanced by trees; people linger and shop longer when trees are present.
  49. Trees generate jobs and contribute raw materials for buildings, newspapers and books.
  50. Wood by-products are used in a number of products such as plastics, vitamins, toothpaste and medicine.

 

Photo Credit: thinkstock

203 comments

Kelly S
Past Member 7 months ago

trees are awesome!

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John B
John B1 years ago

Thanks Judy for providing all the info.

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Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adaba1 years ago

I love trees

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

thanks

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Jessica K.
Jessica K2 years ago

You only need 500 butterfly points to plant a tree here on care2. Please plant what you feel you can. Thanks.

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Wendi M.
Wendi M2 years ago

TYFS

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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federico bortoletto
federico b2 years ago

Grazie della condivisione.

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Georgina Elizab McAlliste
.2 years ago

TYFS

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Yolanda Aguilar
Yolanda Aguilar2 years ago

Thanks for sharing !!

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