We take trees for granted. Not only do they add beauty to the skyline but they also provide homes to wildlife. Here are ten other reasons you should hug a tree (then plant one).
- Trees help prevent floods by stopping soil erosion. They also reduce water pollution by acting as a filter.
- Trees clean the air, producing oxygen and removing particulates from the air, helping fight CO2 emissions. One acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people per year. And the evaporation from just one tree produces the equivalent cooling effect of ten room-size air conditioners running for 20 hours a day.
- Trees in urban landscapes have been shown to reduce crime. One study found that a 10 percent increase in tree cover led to a 12 percent decrease in crime.
- Birds live in trees. There was a 50% drop in some woodland bird species between 1974 and 1999, in part due to habitat loss. Give birds homes by planting trees.
- Ancient trees support particularly diverse life. Over 2,000 types of invertebrate rely on rotting wood in the UK (600 in Ireland). Leave ancient trees alone as well as planting new trees.
- When a street is lined with trees, it adds 25 percent to housing prices.
- Trees provide us with nuts to eat, conkers to play with (or make soap or laundry detergent with) and leaves/seeds for crafting (or composting and planting, accordingly). And that’s before you even get into shelter, and the many useful things that can be made with wood.
- Many trees can be used to produce aromatic oils. Some of these may also have health benefits (and of course, there’s aspirin too…)
- Trees reduce noise pollution by up to 40 percent.
- Green views have been shown to relieve stress, and green is a calming colour.
Whether you want to make more money or breathe cleaner air, trees are good. Plant a tree today – or better yet, plant lots of trees…