Trees are assets in an urban forest! We have listed a number of positive aspects and impacts that trees, and especially native trees, can have in a residential area like Sherwood Forest. Trees have positive impacts compared to an unnatural cultivated lawn.
- Trees absorb the water from storms that would otherwise run off, erode property, and cause flooding.
- Tree roots hold soil in place, and they create organic matter on the soil surface from their leaf litter. Their roots increase soil permeability.
- Trees are stronger together. Trees in a grove are less likely to be blown over.
- Healthy trees with unrestricted root growth are more likely to stand firm in storms.
- Trees filter and purify water before it enters our streams and aquifers.
- Trees can lower summer temperatures by as much as 10 degrees, saving money and energy.
- One mature tree can lower temperatures as much as 10 room-sized air conditioners.
- About 40% tree coverage of a given area is needed for the 10-degree cooling effect.
- Native trees provide as much or more food for pollinators as blooming perennials. And pollinators contribute to one in every three bites of food we eat!
- Most small trees (e.g., dogwoods, redbuds, pawpaw, persimmon, sassafras, and many others) need shade from larger trees. Most of these smaller “understory” trees will become stressed in full sun, succumb to disease, and eventually die prematurely.
- Trees provide habitat for wildlife.
- Trees sequester carbon, produce oxygen that we need to breathe, and improve air quality by filtering toxins.
- For every 10% increase in urban tree canopy, ozone is reduced by 3-7%.
- A single mature tree can absorb 45 pounds of CO2 each year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 humans.
- Trees lining streets can reduce particulates from car exhaust by 60%.
- Trees work constantly to remove sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates, carbon monoxide, cadmium, nickel, and lead from the air.
- Trees have a positive impact on skin cancer, asthma, hypertension, and other stress related illness.
- Trees form an effective sound absorbing barrier to help reduce unwanted urban noise pollution.
- Trees add visual appeal with interesting seasonal colors and textures.
- For every $1 spent on trees, we see $3 to $12 in benefits.
- Trees increase commercial and residential real estate values by 5-15%.
So think twice and consult with a certified arborist before removing trees on your property. And if diseased trees or trees which have reached the end of their life span need to be removed, please consider replacing these trees. SFNA’s Forest Friends can offer advice and even free trees to our neighbors!