Wherever you are on the planet, trees are likely a common sight in your life. It’s not uncommon to pass a few trees on a walk around your home or on a daily commute, you might even have a tree or two in your yard! But have you ever stopped to appreciate the same trees that you see every day? You don’t have to know what trees do to appreciate them, people have a natural calling towards trees which causes us to bring them into our cities, front yards, and parks.
Not only are they aesthetically pleasing to look at, trees offer us several health benefits. Believe it or not, trees are working overtime so that you and I can enjoy the air that we breathe. Did you know that research shows that within minutes of being surrounded by trees, your blood pressure drops, your heart rate slows, and your stress levels drop?
Here is a fun and detailed list that delves into the many ways that trees help not only us, but how they benefit the rest of the world!
Trees produce oxygen and reduce the growth rate of global warming
Today, the planet’s atmosphere has more carbon dioxide than ever before in recorded human history. Excess carbon dioxide in the air gathers more of the sun’s rays and stores the surplus heat, this is one of the prime causes of global warming.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and use it to produce the oxygen that we breathe. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out 4 tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”
Trees provide habitat to 80% of the worlds land-based life
Trees provide a home to several species such as birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fungi, and much more. Without forests, many animals would not have a place to call their home. Trees in urban environments provide a home to city dwelling wildlife such as birds, squirrels, and small reptiles. Depending on where you are in the world, the types of city dwelling species may vary.
Trees improve our health
Research shows that walking in an area with an abundance of trees can reduce anxiety, improve mental clarity, and overall stress is reduced. Even children with ADHD have shown to have fewer symptoms in the outdoors. Research shows that hospital patients tend to recover faster with fewer complications when they have access to a window that overlooks a canopy of trees. Trees also reduce the risk of getting skin cancer by limiting our exposure to UV-B rays by 50 percent. Not only do trees provide mental clarity through natural means, but they are also a key ingredient in over 25 percent of all medicines!
Trees benefit society
Trees provide jobs to 1.6 billion people around the world and provide materials for furniture, construction, firewood, medicine, and much more. The leaves of trees reflect heat upwards and it is estimated that trees can reduce the temperature in cities by up to 7 degrees Celsius and break up “heat islands” in cities that have minimal tree cover. Trees planted around a family home can cut air conditioning needs by up to 50% which reduces the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the air.
Also, certain fruit trees can thrive in urban environments since they only require a minimal amount of space and provide food and a home to wildlife. The fruit from these trees can also be eaten by humans and guarantee nutrition and health.
Trees can mask unsightly views such as concrete walls and parking lots and muffle the sound from nearby streets and freeways, while creating a pleasant canopy of green to look at. Also, property value raises when there are more trees in the neighborhood.
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