Benefits of Urban Trees

Benefits of Urban Trees

Urban trees can help to mitigate some of the negative impacts and social consequences of urbanization, and thus make cities more resilient to these changes. Here are nine ways in which urban trees and forests contribute to making cities socio-economically and environmentally more sustainable:

  1. Trees can increase local food and nutrition security, providing food such as fruits, nuts, and leaves for both human consumption and fodder.

  2. Trees play an important role in increasing urban biodiversity, providing plants and animals with a favorable habitat, food and protection.

  3. A mature tree can absorb up to 150 kg of CO2 per year. As a result, trees play an important role in climate change mitigation. Especially in cities with high levels of pollution, trees can improve air quality, making cities healthier places to live in.

  4. Strategic placement of trees in cities can help to cool the air between 20 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, thus reducing the urban “heat island” effect and helping urban communities to adapt to the effects of climate change.

  5. Large trees are excellent filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates. They absorb pollutant gases (such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, and sulphur oxides) and filter fine particulates such as dust, dirt or smoke out of the air by trapping them on leaves and bark.

  6. Research shows that living in close proximity of urban green spaces and having access to them, can improve physical and mental health. For example, being around trees can decrease high blood pressure and stress. This, in turn, contributes to the well-being of urban communities.

  7. Mature trees regulate water flow and play a key role in preventing floods and reducing the risk of natural disasters. A mature evergreen tree can intercept nearly 4,000 gallons of water per year.

  8. Trees also help reduce carbon emissions by helping conserve energy. For example, the correct placement of trees around buildings can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30 percent, and reduce winter heating bills by 20-50 percent.

  9. Planning urban landscapes with trees can increase property value, by up to 20 percent, and attract tourism and business.