Mother Nature’s Moment
by: Lesley Bruce Smith, ISA certified arborist
All of us know that trees and plants are important for our survival. We remember our grade school science lessons about photosynthesis and the gift of clean fresh air (O2) that trees provide. But trees quietly perform so many important functions for us that often go unappreciated and unrecognized.
- Just three to four strategically located shade trees around a house can cut summer cooling costs by 30%-50%. Treeless areas in cities can be “heat islands”, zones of summer temperatures as much as 12ºF higher than in shade.
- Trees in urban and suburban settings in the USA remove 711,000 tons of air pollution annually, at a value of $3.8 billion. Trees clean the air by absorbing not just carbon dioxide, but sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and other air born pollutants.
- Children in tree lined neighborhoods play outside 10% more and have lower rates of Attention Deficit Disorder and asthma.
- Studies have shown that residents of areas with the highest levels of greenery are 3 times as likely to be physically active and less likely to be obese. Proof that planting a tree could be part of a good weight loss plan!
- Trees have a long and varied history of ethnobotany, the scientific study of the relationship between the use of plants by people. Aboriginal peoples and modern scientists have used all sorts of compounds from trees for healing and medicinal benefits.
- A study done at University of Illinois has shown that there is significantly less domestic violence in housing projects that have a view of trees, more proof that trees really do heal us.
These are just a few of the miraculous tasks trees perform each and every day. Scientists have actually proven that trees can benefit from the sound of the human voice, so next time you take a stroll around your property remember to thank your trees, they’ll appreciate it!