Trees are more amazing than we even realize. Sure, we appreciate their beauty and know they provide benefits to our environment, but the extent of their benefits is significantly under-appreciated. When consulting an arborist in Oregon and deciding if trees are right for your landscape, consider these 10 extraordinary benefits of trees.
1. Trees Save Lives
By greatly improving air quality, trees save an estimated 850 lives per year and prevent roughly 670,000 accounts of respiratory symptoms, according to the U.S. Forest Service. While pollution reduced from trees was less than 1%, the impact is still substantial. In fact, the benefits provided by trees are so great that the overall savings equate to $7 billion every year. Unfortunately, tree coverage across the United States varies significantly, with 88% coverage in New Hampshire and a mere 2.6 percent in North Dakota.
2. Trees Increase Worker Satisfaction
Any view from the office window is a benefit given that we usually sit at our desks at least 40 hours per week, but a study in Seoul, South Korea, confirmed that those who could view the forest from their workplace window had a direct effect on job satisfaction. These people experienced a measurable, “significant direct effect” on employee health, citing lower stress and higher job satisfaction.
3. Trees Provide Oxygen
Yes, it is a well-known fact that trees produce oxygen, the gas vital to human existence. However, did you know that one large tree is capable of provided one day of oxygen for up to four people. However, your oxygen might not be coming from the tree next door. More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon Rainforest.
4. Trees Increase Property Value
Aside from the wonderful landscaping trees provide, they also add value to your home. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree will appraise between $1,000 and $10,000. They also provide shading, which can lower your energy bill by 3-12% as trees help to keep homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Even realtors are seeing the effect, noting that trees have a “strong or moderate impact” of 83% on homes listed up to $150,000, and as high as 98% for homes over $250,000.
5. Trees Produce Food
Throughout the world, there are a large variety of trees that produce food, both for people and animals. Some trees also serve multiple purposes, like persimmon, walnut, pecan, and apple trees, which are also excellent sources of shade. If you are consulting with an arborist in Oregon to choose edible landscaping consider the height of trees as well as nut trees can grow up to 50 feet, while some apple trees top out around 10 feet tall. Some of the most popular edible trees to plant include the following: Apple, Banana, Apricot, Cherry, Crab Apple, Citrus, Fig, Kousa Dogwood, Loquat, Pawpaw, Peach, Pecan, Pear, Persimmon, Plum, Quince, Shadbush, Walnut.
6. Trees Improve Our Drinking Water
“Stream-side forests are crucial to the protection and enhancement of water resources,” states the United States Department of Agriculture. This is because the majority of water consumed comes from forests, where streams remove excess nutrients and sediment and pollutants, like fertilizer and pesticides, from surface runoff and shallow groundwater. This natural process both protects the water we drink, but also the water consumed by the plants and animals we consume. For this reason, forest managers predict the water quality coming from forests by analyzing the natural and human-caused disturbances. Their research is then shared with municipal water suppliers, land manager, policy makers, advocacy groups and individual citizens to improve education and understanding of water quality.
7. Trees Provide Much-Needed Cooling
Who doesn’t love hanging out under a large, shading tree on a warm summer day? Yes, the trees help to keep us cool, but the shade provided also lowers surface and air temperatures, according to the EPA. This is essential everywhere, but particularly in urban communities where they suffer from “heat island”. This term describes an urban area that is anywhere from 2 to 22-degrees warmer than nearby rural areas. Heat islands are detrimental as it increases the summer peak demand for energy, which increases air conditioning costs, air pollution emissions, greenhouse gases emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality.
8. Trees Benefit Wildlife
Trees are essential to our wildlife population as they provide nutrition, shade and, most often, homes. Wildlife trees are characterized as standing live or dead trees that provide habitat for wildlife. While large trees in both height and diameter are most beneficial, other important attributes include large limbs, loose bark, broken tops, heart rot or other decay. In the Northeast, primary tree residents are birds, such as woodpeckers, sapsuckers, nuthatches and chickadees, all of which excavate their own homes. Secondary tree-livers include owls, salamanders, and squirrels. In addition to animals that take up residence into the trees, eagles, osprey, hawks, herons and more build open nests on large tree branches.
9. Trees Help Reduce Crime
It sounds outrageous to say that a tree can ward off crime, but numerous studies have found that exact outcome. In Baltimore, Maryland, a 10% increase in tree canopy accounted for a decrease in crime by 12%. It has also been shown that there is less graffiti, vandalism, littering and petty crime in outdoor spaces with trees, as well as a reported 25% fewer acts of domestic aggression and violence when trees are found near public housing units.
10. Trees Are a Good Investment
A 2011 U.S. Forest Service study found that every dollar spent on planting and caring for a tree yielded benefits two to three times that investment as it lead to cleaner air, lower energy costs, improved water quality and increased nearby property values. Specifically, in Indianapolis and New York it was found that the investment in trees resulted in yielding a benefit five times of the initial. Similarly, in Cincinnati, the financial investments were quadruple the initial output.
If you need help with your current landscaping or ideas on future additions, our tree services are just a call or click away.