A Plea to Please Plant Trees
In our high-speed, plugged-in, web-surfing world, it’s easy to lose track of the significance of something as simple, as beautiful, and as important as a tree.
Strong, yet graceful, enduring, yet vulnerable, trees help define our cities and towns, neighborhoods and streets, even our individual yards.
Unfortunately, in many regions, trees are losing ground to development and neglect. But we can each make a commitment to beautify the world around us by planting a tree. And if you’re looking for a good reason to plant a tree, here are 16 of them:
1 Trees Produce Oxygen
What else do you need to know? You’ve got lungs, right? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one acre of trees produces four tons of oxygen annually. That’s enough oxygen to sustain 18 people for one full year.
2 Trees Combat the Greenhouse Effect
Trees act as carbon sinks by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. It’s estimated that one acre of forest can soak up anywhere from 2 1/2 to 6 tons of carbon annually.
3 Trees Block Noise Pollution
Properly placed trees and shrubs can significantly reduce noise, especially when planted along busy streets. To ensure the trees are spaced properly—not too far apart, not too close together—consult a landscaper or refer to the planting instructions that come with the tree or shrub.
4 Trees Provide Privacy
Evergreens, shrubs and deciduous trees with thick leaf canopies make excellent privacy screens. Use them to obstruct neighboring views of your backyard deck, swimming pool, hot tub or patio.
Trees are also effective at blocking out less-than-attractive views, such as power lines, commercial buildings, utility poles, highways and traffic.
5 Trees Increase Property Values
Properly planted and maintained trees can enhance the curb appeal of any home. And it has been proven that tree-landscaped homes command higher prices than properties with no or very few trees; real-estate experts estimate that trees can increase the value of a home as much as 20%.
6 Trees are Beautiful
The peaceful, natural beauty of trees has inspired poets and artists for centuries. And it’s all on display each day right outside our windows, making all of our lives more enjoyable.
7 Trees Support Wildlife
From birds to bats, and squirrels to spiders, trees are home to an incredible variety of wildlife. Just imagine how much sadder the world would be without the sound of a songbird outside your window.
8 Trees Produce Shade
If you’ve ever relaxed in the cooling shade of a tree, you’ve experienced one of life’s simpler pleasures. Studies have shown that cities without shade trees can become "heat islands" with temperatures as much as 12°F higher than surrounding areas.
9 Trees Fight Soil Erosion
Deeply rooted trees trap water runoff, strengthen the soil and deflect pounding rain, all of which prevents soil erosion. These benefits are especially important in areas that regularly receive heavy downpours or flooding.
10 Trees Slow Water Runoff
Cities and heavily populated towns have miles of concrete and asphalt surfaces that divert rainwater directly into storm drains, before it can soak into the ground. However, trees can help alleviate this problem because their large leaf mass and extensive root systems can catch water, slow down runoff and help maintain the groundwater table.
11 Trees Produce Sustenance
Trees give us many edible treats, including walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, apples, pears, oranges, plums, peaches, and, of course, maple syrup.
12 Trees Catch Air Pollutants
Leafy tree canopies intercept fine-particulate pollution, and absorb pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide.
13 Trees Keep Homes Cooler
Leafy Strategically planted trees can block out solar heat gain and keep your home cooler. Studies have shown that planting trees on the west and east sides of your house can reduce air-conditioning costs by as much as 20%.
14 Trees Keep Homes Warmer
Trees, especially evergreens, can be planted to create windbreaks, which can cut heating bills by as much as 30%.
15 Trees are Pretty Than Billboards
With a respectful nod to Joyce Kilmer’s famous 1913 poem, “Trees,” American poet Ogden Nash once wrote:
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I’ll never see a tree at all.
16 Trees Need Our Help
As homeowners, we all have to do our part to plant more trees. Nearly 80% of trees in cities and towns are on private property. Therefore, we can’t rely on the local government to plant trees, so get out there and start planting! The world—and your neighborhood—will be a better place for it. Thanks!