Trees play an essential role in our ecosystem. They improve our air, clean our water, and slow the impact of climate change. Trees also benefit humans in more surprising ways. Did you know?
Increase infant birth weight
Studies have shown that mothers who have more exposure to trees and green spaces have improved infant birth weights.
Improve patient outcomes
Patients who either have plants in their hospital room or trees visible from their hospital room have shorter hospital stays and they experience less pain and anxiety. In Scotland, doctors are even giving patients prescriptions for nature because it provides so many mental and physical health benefits.
Reduce stress and health risks
Tree-lined green spaces in urban settings can reduce stress and health risks like heart disease and respiratory disorders.
Reduce dementia risk
Daily gardening has been shown to reduce dementia risk factors by 36%.
Lower temperatures in urban areas
Urban street trees can reduce the temperature by up to 15 degrees depending on the size of the green space and the density of how the trees are planted. This temperature reduction makes a walking commute more comfortable in hot summer months.
Increase property value
Trees in yards and along streets can increase home values up to 20%. The return on investment in trees is also great for communities. According to researcher Greg McPherson, “for every $1 spent on planting or maintaining a street tree, that tree returns, on average, $5.82 in benefits.”
Increase energy efficency
When planted strategically close to homes and buildings, trees can reduce energy costs by providing shade in the summer and wind protection in the winter. A 25-foot tree reduces annual heating and cooling costs of a typical residence by 8 to 12 %.
Improve driving safety
The most recent research suggests that trees may improve driving safety. One study found a 46% decrease in crash rates across urban arterial and highway sites after landscape improvements involving trees were installed.
Increase life expectancy
In one study, elderly people that had nearby parks, tree-lined streets, and other inviting spaces for walking showed higher longevity over a 5-year study period.
Public housing residents with nearby trees and natural landscapes reported 25% fewer acts of domestic aggression and violence.
It’s easy to assume that planting a tree today will only benefit the generations to come, but it’s clear that trees have immediate and profound impacts the moment they are planted. Trees not only provide environmental benefits, but are also a key to healthy and productive communities. This is precisely what we mean when we say, “Healthy Trees, Happy People.”
How have trees improved your neighborhood or community? What do you enjoy most about your trees? How do trees benefit you? We’d love to hear. Please send us a note.