Trees play a very important role in our environment. As the largest plants on the planet, they serve a vital role in keeping our planet healthy. Not only do they give us oxygen, store carbon, and stabilize; they also provide sanctuaries for our planet’s wildlife. In addition, humans need trees to provide us with materials that give us shelter against the elements.
As you can see, trees are essential for the survival of the planet and the humans and wildlife that occupy it. Not only are trees essential for forests, they are also needed in urban settings such as parks and forest preserves within cities. Here are a few other essential ways that trees play an important role in our lives!
Trees Keep Us Healthy
Trees act as a filter that can trap dust and absorb pollutants from the air. Trees can absorb toxic chemicals through their ‘pores’, effectively filtering chemicals from the air. Essentially, trees keep us from breathing in toxic chemicals in the air and keep us healthier.
Some trees offer medicinal properties. Trees such as Ginko Biloba can offer medicinal benefits and contain healing properties. For example, Ginko Biloba extract is collected from dried leaves of this plant is known to help reduce the risk of cancer.
Trees are also good for your mental health. Research shows being surrounded by trees lowers your blood pressure. Your heart rate also slows and your stress levels drop.
Trees Protect Our Environment
As trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide in the air. They then store that carbon in their trunks, which can help to slow the rate of global warming.
Trees like evergreens can reduce wind speed, which can limit the loss of heat from your home in the winter by 10-50%.
Trees help prevent flooding and soil erosion through their ability to absorb stormwater.
The canopies of trees act as a filter that can trap dust and absorb pollutants from the air.
Trees also provide shade from solar radiation. A tree can actually block 90% of solar radiation, which can help also help reduce your cooling expenses.
Trees can shade surface areas like driveways, patios, sidewalks and buildings. This can minimize the heat load on these surfaces, which is a build up of heat during the day that gets radiated at night. This can result in warmer temperatures. Ideally, you want 50% of the total paved surface should be shaded.
Trees Provide Habitat for Wildlife
Trees host many different types of microhabitats. When trees are young, they offer not only habitation, but also are a food source for birds, insects, lichen and fungi. As trees age, their trunks also provide homes for species such as bats, beetles, tawny owls, woodpeckers and other critters.
Trees Increase Communities
Parks that often have several trees, provide a place for communities to gather. These parks or urban forests can be used as an educational resource. They bring in large groups for activities like bird watching or even hiking. Trees are also invaluable for children to play near or climb trees.
Trees Help the Economy
People are attracted to live and work near green spaces. Research shows that average house prices increase when homes have mature trees on their properties.