Everyone knows trees provide shade, and it beautifies our landscape. But it has been noticed over the years, that tree canopy in cities have decreased.
Large trees are cut-off and replaced by smaller species. There younger replanted trees struggle to reach maturity due to the paved surroundings around them. It's not an easy life for a city-dwelling tree.
They could improve the liveability of our cities if town planners and municipalities factored sustainable urban design.
So in this post, I'm going to make a case for why we need more trees. Here are nine reasons why planting trees in urban environments should be given high priority.
1. Trees keep the city streets cool
Cities without trees remain hotter than rural areas where trees are abundant. Tree-less cities are hotter and this heat can cause health problems, including discomfort, heat cramps and heat stroke.
Green spaces offer shading which has a cooling and calming effect providing a reprieve for residents and helps to reduce the energy needed to cool down buildings and homes.
Trees also absorb pollutant gases and filters the toxicity out by trapping it in their barks and leaves. If you plant trees in urban streetscapes, heat is absorbed helping to keep the roads and buildings cool.
2. Plants and trees provide safety
A long straight line of mature trees across the urban street will create a wall and a defined edge and the overhanging canopy is visually appealing too. Trees provide a physical barrier between people walking on the sidewalks and motorists on the road. It creates a secure environment for homes and business centres.
3. Trees can cut down traffic noise
Trees reduce engine noise created by vehicles. Broad leafy trees are powerful enough to absorb a great deal of noise created by small and large vehicles. Small trees too can block traffic noise from reaching private homes.
4. Plantation increases property value
Tree-lined streets appear more stable and prosperous, and particularly if the trees are mature. Trees and plants have aesthetic value and beautify any property, consequently helping to increase property value by 5 - 15%.
5. Trees help to reduce stress levels
People living in urban areas can suffer from high stress levels and concrete surroundings only add to the feelings of emotional disconnectedness and anxiety.
Planting trees near urban streets is a great way to help residents destress as nature has a calming effect. Trees and green spaces also provides families an incentive to go out for walks and helps to increase outdoor activity.
Well-kept green suburbs also creates neighborhood pride and fosters community spirit and helps to build trust amongst residents.
6. Plants and trees purify water in urban regions
Cities that are surrounded by various waterways have a greater chance of being polluted by plants, refineries, and human waste. This negatively affects the urban landscape and creates a threat to the natural environment.
One solution to this problem is planting the right type of trees near bodies of water. In urban areas, trees can help to reduce the amount of pollutant loading by purifying and storing water, fighting against flood and promoting cleaner waterways.
7. Trees help to lower electricity bills
Compared to rural areas, city temperatures are hotter, and this is because sunlight absorbs materials like concrete, asphalt and dark rock like material. It radiates heat into the surrounding air and buildings warming the urban environment.
As temperatures rise, people are forced to use fans and air conditioners to help cool their offices and homes.
Trees however are a cost-effective way to reduce urban temperatures, providing shade which cools our homes and offices. In turn, we don't need to run our cooling systems as often which effectively helps to reduce energy usage and electricity expenses.
So if you have the space to plant a tree or several, then do so. The cost benefits alone are well worth the planting effort.
8. Trees enhance community well-being
Many researchers have proven that visual beauty and sensual enhancement of trees improves people’s mood. Better landscaping and streets lined with trees can reduce crime rates, domestic abuse and strengthen relationships among neighbours. It also encourages people to take strolls around the neighbourhood and even drivers slow down in an urban street lined with trees.
9. Planting trees enhances environmental awareness
By proactively planting trees around your school, playground, parks, company premises and your home, you are setting an example for children and young people, helping them connect with the nature and learn the importance of conserving our natural environment. Furthermore, children should have access to nature as it helps to reduce mental fatigue.
So if you care about sustainability and want your community to be a strong, healthy and happy one, start working with your council or municipality to get more trees planted. We take so much from the earth, so giving back to it by planting more trees is the least we can do! And if you're a wood enthusiast and are interested in DIY projects such as how to turn salvaged wood into furniture, you'll find some extensive DIY resources on victorcrafter.com/