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updated: 7/16/2013 7:15 PM

New Study Finds Treehuggers Had It Right All Along

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  • Trees save lives, improve curb value, and decrease violence. Share the love, and hug a tree.

      Trees save lives, improve curb value, and decrease violence. Share the love, and hug a tree.

 
Emma Fitzpatrick

Trees save lives! According to new research just released from the U.S. Forest Service and the Davey Institute, urban forests across the country save thousands of lives every year. Trees not only save lives, but according to the study, they reduce hospital visits and the number of days taken off work, and help people nationwide breathe better. They do this simply by collecting pollutants on their leaves and branches and thus remove them from the air.

The study focused on the health benefits of trees in 10 major cities across the county, from San Francisco to Boston. According to other research, the benefits of trees go beyond health issues. Yes, trees clean the air, but they can also improve home values, reduce air conditioning use and provide a center of peace in a hectic schedule.

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Read on to learn about the environmental, economical, and emotional benefits of trees:

Environmental

Trees Clean the Air: A forest acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breathe. The study reported that trees help clean the air by intercepting airborne particles, cooling the air, and absorbing pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide & nitrogen dioxide. In fact, we could not exist as we do if there were no trees. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

Trees Benefit the Soil: Trees can store harmful pollutants and actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams. Plus, trees control soil erosion. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on soil. Trees fight soil erosion, conserve rainwater and reduce sediment deposit after storms.

Economical

Trees Increase Property Value: Real estate values can increase when trees are planted. Data shows that buyers are willing to spend 3-7% more on home with ample trees vs. few or no trees.

Trees Shade and Cool: Shade resulting in cooling is what a tree is best known for. Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be "heat islands" with temperatures as much as 12 degrees F higher than surrounding areas.

Emotional

Impact of Trees on Neighborhood Violence: Trees reduce levels of domestic violence and foster safer, more sociable neighborhoods. Places with nature and trees may provide settings in which relationships grow stronger and violence is reduced.

Trees bring people together: Data shows that neighborhoods with shady streets and parks create outdoor spaces that attract people. When people are drawn to spaces with trees, they are more likely to see and interact with their neighbors, more likely to get to know each other and become friends.

Trees never stop giving--and scientists know for a fact that trees improve quality of life in almost every way. Feel happier, improve curb appeal, and breathe easier by the simple, yet powerful gesture of planting a tree. If you have any questions about planting or caring for trees, talk to a certified arborist at The Davey Tree Expert Company or use the Tree$ense app to calculate various benefits of trees such as energy savings and storm water interception. You can trust a tree care specialist at www.davey.com.

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