The Benefits of TreesTrees benefit communities in a number of important ways:
- Aesthetics: By softening the harsh lines of the urban world, trees play an important role in visitors' first impression of a community. Trees add beauty to an urban area. Homes and offices set in an environment with mature trees are typically more appealing and valued at a higher rate.
- Air Quality: Trees improve air quality in three ways.
- The leaves can collect and absorb particles of airborne pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, and they also store carbon absorbed from the carbon dioxide in the air.
- The physical presence of trees can reduce wind speed, which allows heavy particles of air pollutants to settle to the ground.
- Burning fossil fuels for electricity is a major source of carbon emissions in the air. Properly placed trees can reduce the energy needed for heating, and especially cooling here in Florida, thus reducing the need for electrical power.
- Clean Water: Trees contribute to improved water quality by decreasing soil erosion and reducing storm water runoff that may affect the sanitary sewer system. Trees can minimize runoff and help developers comply with storm water requirements without relying so heavily on expensive retention facilities and sediment traps. They prevent soil erosion and reduce water pollution by holding soil in place and preventing the transport of sediments and chemicals into streams.
- Economic Benefits: Trees increase property values for both residential and business locations. Because trees increase property values, the result is an increase in the tax base for community. In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, builders reported that 43% of home buyers would pay up to $3000 more for wooded lots and 30% would pay up to $5000 more. A Bank American Mortgage survey of real estate agents showed that 84% believe a home with trees would be as much as 20% more saleable.
- Energy Savings: Well placed trees can contribute to a reduction in heating and cooling costs for homes and businesses by providing shade, windbreaks, and evaporative cooling effects. Trees offer shade and protection from the elements, making it easier to maintain constant temperatures throughout a building's interior space. Heating and air-conditioning systems don't have to work as hard or as long resulting in significant savings to home and business owners.
- Increase Economic Stability: The National Arbor Day Foundation reports that people linger and shop longer along tree-lined streets. Apartments and offices rent more quickly and tenants stay longer in wooded areas. Studies conducted by the USDA have shown that healthy, mature trees add an average of 10% to a property's value.
- Reduce Crime: Crime levels in communities are reduced when there are extensive street tree systems and well-landscaped parks.
- Reduce Noise Pollution: Trees act as buffers against roadways and other noise producing sources by absorbing unpleasant sounds from the urban environment.
- Traffic Calming: The Institute of Transport Studies at England's University of Leeds has found that street tree planting have a traffic calming effect. Tree lined streets act as psycho perceptive measures, which subtly slows traffic and encourages speed limits of 25, 30 or 35 mph by making roadways appear narrower. Landscaping along streets provides a separation between motorists and pedestrians and reduces the visual width of the roadway. By presenting a visual narrowing of the roadway, trees and other landscaping create an image of the street that is one of a place rather than a through route.
- Wildlife Habitat: Trees serve as wildlife habitat, providing food and cover for a variety of creatures including deer, squirrels, rabbits, reptiles, insects and birds. Trees create a local ecosystem and provide these suitable habitats that would otherwise be absent from urban areas.
Where can I go online to learn more about trees?
- International Society of Arboriculture - Florida Chapter
- American Forests
- American Society of Consulting Arborists
- The National Arbor Day Foundation
- The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council
- International Society of Arboriculture
- Invasive Plants In Florida
- Keep Brevard Beautiful
- Florida Yards
City of Melbourne Parks