In a few weeks the Philadelphia Green News will share an update on the major tree-planting campaign that’s swept the region. But for the moment we wanted to share the reasons why we’re so passionate about trees in the first place. Perhaps it’s because trees are the ultimate multi-taskers. They provide many aesthetic, environmental, social, and economic benefits to urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Trees provide beauty, color, and shade, making communities more attractive. They soften the look and feel of urban environments. They help create a distinct sense of place and reflect and accentuate regional character.
The environment is cleaner and healthier because of trees. Trees prevent flooding. Their leaves intercept storm runoff, and their roots absorb heavy rainfall. Trees protect streams by preventing erosion, filtering pollutants, and shading and cooling waters to improve fish habitat. The cooling effect of trees helps alleviate the “heat island” effect of large metropolitan areas, reduces summer cooling costs, and slows the accumulation of ground-level ozone. Trees also absorb air-borne pollutants and store carbon, which can slow global warming. Learn more here.
Trees and greenery increase the sense of wellbeing and relaxation. They screen harsh views and increase privacy in dense environments. Because trees along streets limit a driver’s field of vision, they help slow traffic, making pedestrians feel safer. Studies have shown that green spaces with trees improve health, encourage social interaction, and contribute to lower levels of crime, domestic violence, and mental illness. Learn more here.
A 2005 study by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania found that the adjacency (within 100 feet) to a street tree boosted the value of a home in Philadelphia by 10 percent. Shopping districts with trees provide a more welcoming, comfortable environment, so shoppers are more willing to travel to reach the area; will pay higher prices for goods purchased there; and will linger longer, potentially spending more money. Learn more about this study here.
If you’re convinced that trees are absolutely awesome, you can dedicate a tree by clicking here.