Most trees and shrubs in Michigan communities are planted to provide beauty and shade, but there are many benefits beyond that.
• Trees combat climate change.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air.
“One acre of trees annually consumes the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving an average car for 26,000 miles. That same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year.” – New York Times
• Trees provide oxygen.
In one year an acre of mature trees cab provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.”
“On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.” – Environment Canada, Canada’s national environmental agency
• Trees clean the air.
Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
• Trees conserve energy.
Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent.
• Trees save water.
Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week.
• Trees help prevent water pollution.
Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents storm water from carrying pollutants to the lakes
Trees help prevent soil erosion.
On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.
• Trees shield ultra-violet rays.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent.
• Trees block things.
Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.
• Trees increase property values.
The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15 percent.
• Trees heal
Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.