Benefits of Trees

Pollution Control

Trees are an excellent producer of Oxygen and act to lock away Carbon during their growth cycle. The main way that a tree combats pollution is through acting as a sink or receptor and catching suspended particulate matter (s.p.m.) on it's leaf surface. This helps remove a number of pollutants including Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur, Ammonia and Dust Particles. At the end of the growing season the leaves are then discarded by the tree.

Research suggests that, taking into account variables such as climate, species, location, etc., it is difficult to formulate standards that quantify rates of pollution absorption. Although the most effective way to combat pollution is at source, it is the case that trees do have a positive effect on the environment and do reduce levels of pollutants.

Studies have shown that trees exert an influence on the micro-climate of the surrounding area contributing to cleaner air and a healthier environment. They do this in two principal ways, firstly by capturing particulate matter ie. air-borne pollutants and secondly by cooling and humidifying the surrounding air, thus reducing the energy required to run air/con systems. Trees have also been shown to reduce wind speeds with positive effects on heat loss from buildings as well as acting as a buffer against high noise levels.

Aesthetic Benefits

Whilst it is true that trees act to mitigate the effects of pollution one of the primary reasons for planting trees in the city remain aesthetic, otherwise ugly areas can be transformed by the introduction of several species of tree. Trees provide a general softening of the urban environment and also provide a counterbalance for the larger elements of the built environment. The aesthetic of tree lined streets and green spaces have been shown to have positive psychological benefits including lower rates of mental illness, violence and crime.

Trees have tremendous symbolic value, they humanise the city, acknowledge our affinity for the natural world and provide a focus for community participation in landscaping the urban environment.

Tree Economics

Trees add value. First of all they can act as 'green magnets' attracting businesses and their employees into an area. Secondly they can literally add up to 15% to the values of property in a tree lined street.