The Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas

The Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas
The Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas

The bulk of our work, Airspade Investigations, Tree Root DNA testing and Tree Root Radar Surveys are all undertaken to establish the actual locations that trees are rooting in so that conflicts between existing trees and design and construction is mitigated. However, during the planning and development process many people often begin to question the benefits of trees on their site. Indeed, many developers would rather remove trees altogether to avoid having to incorporate then into their designs.

While trees may pose some development constraints there are numerous reasons for retaining and preserving trees in urban areas beyond those of planning conditions.

Air Filtration and Carbon Sequestration

In basic terms everyone knows that trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. However, they also take in and filter smaller particulates such as Ozone, Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide.

In addition to the above carbon is also converted into the hard woody material that makes up the stems and branches of wood and is stored indefinitely until the tree begins to rot or is burned. This process is known as carbon sequestration.

Preventing Stormwater Runoff:

Trees help to intercept and prevent stormwater runoff in a number of ways. Firstly, the leaves and branches intercept rain, providing a larger surface area and reducing the amount of water falling to the ground.

Secondly trees absorb water to aid in the photosynthesis and nutrient and mineral exchange around the tree.

Provide shade and cooling:

Firstly, trees provide shade to houses and buildings in the summer that helps to maintain a more even temperature to nearby buildings throughout the year, reducing heating and air conditioning costs.

In addition to providing shade, during hot weather, the areas around trees can be as much as 5⁰ cooler because of evapotranspiration.

Contribute to both physical and mental wellbeing:

People living around trees show greater sense of community and civic pride, treed environments reduce stress and encourage people to go outdoors. Patients that can view trees from their hospital beds recover more quickly from illness and office workers that can see trees and the natural environment from their desk report greater job satisfaction and fewer sick days.

Increased property values:

It has long been know that trees contribute to property values, however quantifying this has always been difficult. However, studies have shown that residential properties increase by 3-15%, commercial by 7%. In addition to this streets with well-designed tree placements will have shoppers staying longer, visiting more often and pay 7-10% more for goods!

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