Benefits Of Trees

The following is a list of articles and studies showing the wealth of benefits provided by trees:

Top Benefits Of Trees

The Top 22 Benefits Of Trees

The Amenity Value Of Trees

More Trees On Your Street Means Fewer Health Problems

Innovative Research From An East Clare Village Finds Multiple Values In Trees

A report by forester, Bernard Carey, on the ecosystem services provided by Mountshannon trees.

Trees Help Prevent Asthma, Respiratory Diseases, Study Says

First National Study Finds Trees Saving Lives, Reducing Respiratory Problems

Trees Prevent 670,000 Cases Of Acute Respiratory Problems In The U.S. A Year

Source: “What Happens When Trees Disappear?”
Our lives wouldn’t be possible without trees.  As a 2011 nature report detailed, sudden declines of trees would lead to the failure of crops, virtually unbreathable air and the collapse of eco-systems.  Researchers working with the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies are trying to bring that reality home in more urgent terms.  They want to detail how the decline of trees harms human health not just in hypotheticals but in immediate and measurable ways.  Several studies have shown that tree-filled settings can reduce stress and boost mental earth.  Now new research is going further.  The  Forest Service recently unveiled a model suggesting that in pollution removal alone, trees prevent 670,000 cases of acute respiratory problems a year.
The study published in Journal of Environmental Pollution looks at four key air pollutants and values their removal by trees at about $7 billion.  And that isn’t even the starkest link the Forest Service has made between trees and human health.
In a 2013 study in the American Journal Of Preventative Medicine, researchers traced the rise of the Emerald Ash Borer in Michigan as it spread across the state’s borders.  The bugs killed more than 100 million ash trees since 2002 but the Forest Service saw something else in the data.  They looked at human mortality rates by county and after reviewing 12,096 counties spread over 15 states they found that the areas most affected by tree death also saw spikes in cardiovascular and lower respiratory tract illness.

Tree-Lined Streets Mean Lower Rates Of Childhood Asthma

Ireland Records Fourth Highest Childhood Asthma Rate
Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of asthma in the world.  There was an average of 4,753 asthma admissions per year from 2005 – 2010.  A&E admissions are estimated at four times the admission rate, approx 19,000 per annum.

Air Pollution ‘Directly Linked To 1,500 Premature Deaths A Year’

The Importance Of Urban Forests:  Why Money Really Does Grow On Trees

Mature trees clean air, lower stress, boost happiness, reduce flood risk – and even save municipal money. So why are they cut down – and how should we protect them?
Until recently, says Jones, city officials saw trees as “expensive ornaments”. But what is now known about the ecological services that trees provide is staggering.
According to the UN Urban Forestry office, trees reduce heating energy use by a further 20-50%. One large tree can absorb 150kg of carbon dioxide a year, as well as filter some of the airborne pollutants, including fine particulates.  It’s hard to put a price on how an avenue of plane trees can muffle the roar of a main road, although trees do on average increase the value of property by 20%. Perhaps money does grow on them after all.
“In areas with more trees,” says Bird, “people get out more, they know their neighbours more, they have less anxiety and depression.”  Research suggests people are less violent when they live near trees.   Nature is so mentally restorative that it gives our minds a rest from the forced, direct attention that modern life and urban environments increasingly call for. It relieves mental fatigue.  If you have 10 more trees on a city block, it improves health perception as much as having £10,000 more in income, or feeling seven years younger,” she says.  More …

Ireland Has Great Woodland But Has The Lowest Forest Cover Of All European Countries

Ireland Now Has The ‘Second-Smallest’ Forest Area In Europe

Ireland Has The Third Highest Rate Of Heart Disease In The World

The Second Highest Rate Of Cancer

Ireland Also Has One Of The Highest Rates Of Respiratory Illness

In fact, it is listed as having the highest rate of death from respiratory illness in Western Europe

Could the reason be due to the lack of healthy, mature trees in the country? 

Trees Clean The Air.  Trees Heal.  We Need Trees To Reduce Ireland’s High Rates Of Respiratory, Cardiac & Stress Conditions & Correspondingly Reduce Trolley Lines At Hospitals.

Irish Hospital Waiting Times Ranked Worst In Europe After HSE Figures Are Excluded

Trees Reduce Noise

International Day Of Forests: Benefits For Sustainable Cities

This year’s theme is Forests for sustainable cities and encourages us to look at many benefits that forests and trees can bring to our urban areas.
Urban trees promote a general sense of mental health and wellbeing, with various studies outlining how exposure to parks and trees can help prolong life, improve mental health and even increase the birthweight of babies.
In Ireland, the Woodlands for Health initiative provides a series of forest-based walks and talks for mental health patients, monitoring their progress over set periods.  An evaluated of the project by the HSE and University College Dublin found the mood of participants improved by 75 per cent and suicidal thoughts declined by 82 per cent.
Urban trees along have additional economic benefits, as healthy, well-maintained trees can add 10 to 20 per cent to the value of a property, as well as acting as a secondary insulating layer to reduce heating energy use when planted near buildings.  For more info, see:

Top Benefits of Trees

Here are some of the best reasons to plant and care for trees or defend a tree’s standing:

Trees clean the air
Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
Trees provide oxygen
In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
Trees conserve energy
Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.
Trees help prevent water pollution
Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants to the ocean. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies.
Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent, thus providing protection to children on school campuses and playgrounds – where children spend hours outdoors.
Trees increase property values
The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15%.
Trees increase business and tourism
Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow in. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic – enough to allow the drivers to look at the store fronts instead of whizzing by.
Trees heal
Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.
Trees reduce violence
Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.
Trees bring diverse groups of people together
Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods. All cultures, ages, and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event.
Trees add unity
Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.
Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife
Sycamore and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.
Trees mask loud noise & unsightly views
Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.

Trees Slow Storm Water Runoff

Stormwater runoff is rainfall that flows over the ground surface. Flash flooding can be drastically reduced by a forest or by planting trees. One mature Colorado Spruce tree can capture more than 1000 gallons of water annually. This slowing down of water runoff recharges underground water-holding aquifers and prevents many different pollutants that are found on paved surfaces such as sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria, oil and grease, trash, pesticides and metals, from being carried into the environment.


Trees Increase Business

The more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business in the district. According to Human Dimensions of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, “Trees provide environmental benefits in cities, but also contribute to the economy of communities. A program of scientific studies has found that shoppers respond positively to trees in downtown business districts. These findings have been consistent across large, small and mid-size cities of the United States. The most positive consumer response is associated with streets having a mature, well-managed urban forest where overarching tree canopy helps create a “sense of place.” Trees planted along a street can also slow traffic enough to slow the driver to look at the storefronts.
Tropical Deforestation and Tree Benefits – Everything Connects

Why It Is Important To Plant Trees & Hedgerows

Big Trees May Make Communities Safer, Says Study

The Value of Trees to a Community


Study Showing How Trees Attract Customers & Increase Retail Business

A 2003 Study carried out in 7 U.S. cities showed that retail areas with mature trees attract more customers than retail areas without trees.  The study showed that customers are willing to travel farther to shop in retail areas with trees, are more inclined to spend more, stay longer and pay higher prices for goods than in retail areas without trees.   The study was based on areas with healthy, full-sized mature trees, not ones subjected to the harmful practice of topping, stub cuts or harmful interference with trees.
Retail areas with full-sized trees were described as “welcoming”, “friendly”, “relaxing”, “inviting”, and “well-kept”.  The study concluded that creating and stewarding an urban tree canopy can enhance revenues for businesses and that urban trees should be a central element of retail place.  The study also illustrated enhanced worker productivity and traffic stress reduction in areas with healthy trees.

Trees Increase Property Values By Up To 20%

Real estate values increase when trees beautify a property or neighborhood.
Trees can increase the property value of your home by 15% or more.
Large trees can increase property value up to 20%.
Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent.
Management Information Services/ICMA
Well-maintained trees can increase property value by up to 14%. 
And a healthy tree can have a value of up to about €10,000.

Trees Reduce Crime, Stress & Mental Illness

Several studies have been carried out that show that healthy trees reduce crime, that they reduce stress, mental illness and violence.  Communities with healthy trees have much lower rates of crime than ones that do not.
Properly placed and maintained trees have even been shown to reduce crime (Kuo et al.1998) and enhance cognitive development in children (Wells 2000).
Trees can lower stress and crime. 
Research shows urban trees are correlated with lower crime rates, including things from graffiti, vandalism and littering to domestic violence.
Trees And Sidewalk Gardens May Reduce Crime
The greener a building’s surroundings, the fewer reported crimes.   Apartment buildings with high levels of greenery had 52% fewer crimes than those without any trees.   “Green” spaces are used more frequently (by pedestrians and for recreation), which increases “eyes on the street” and deters would-be criminals.  Residents living in “greener” surroundings report lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities, and less violent behavior, because greenery promotes a greater sense of community and alleviates mental fatigue, a precursor to violent behavior.  (see source)

Trees Reduce Violence

Barren neighborhoods and homes are shown to have higher rate of violence than their greener counterparts.  For example, a study conducted in Baltimore City and Country shows that a 10% increase in tree canopy corresponds to a roughly 12% decrease in crime.  Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear and increase the level of inner peace.  To view the study, click the photo.  To learn more, click the title.

Trees Reduce Violence

Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.

Big Trees May Make Communities Safer, Says Study

They might not be too effective when it comes chasing down vandals or spooking away would-be burglars — but it turns out that our humble city trees may be apt crime-fighters, nonetheless. According to the findings of a new report, data suggests that there’s a relationship between the size and presence of trees in a neighborhood and a lower rate of criminal activity. Not bad for such a stationary life-form that’s literally all bark and no bite.

Social Benefits

Benefits to society are harder to quantify, but that does not mean they are less important than the ecological services that trees provide.  Societal benefits include increased job satisfaction, faster recovery time for hospital patients, and improved child development.  For example, hospital patients who have a view of trees out of their window recovered more quickly than patients who did not (Ulrich 1984).  Similarly, employees who could look out their office windows and see trees and nature were happier at work (Miller 1997).  Both of these have dollar values, like lower health-care costs and increased worker productivity, but it is harder to assign an exact dollar amount to them.  Properly placed and maintained trees have even been shown to reduce crime (Kuo et al.  1998) and enhance cognitive development in children (Wells 2000).
More Trees In Wealthy Areas – Dr. Gerald Mills
“Trees perform an environmental function of absorbing pollution from cars, but all the evidence points to people feeling better when they live in a greener environment. Stress levels are reduced – the presence of trees has a calming effect,” Dr Mills said.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Dr Mills said: “Trees perform an environmental function of absorbing pollution from cars, but all the evidence points to people feeling better when they live in a greener environment. Stress levels are reduced – the presence of trees has a calming effect.”