A Tree's Importance and Environmental Benefit

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The Urban Tree Book

The Urban Tree Book
The Urban Tree Book. Three Rivers Press

Arthur Plotnik has written a book called The Urban Tree Book. This book promotes trees in a new and interesting way. With the help of The Morton Arboretum, Mr. Plotnik takes you through an American urban forest, investigates 200 species of trees to give tree details unknown even to foresters.
Plotnik combines key botanical tree information with fascinating stories from history, folklore, and today's news to make a thoroughly readable report. This book is a must read for any teacher, student or admirer of trees.
A portion of his book makes a great case-in-point for planting and maintaining trees in and around the city. He explains why trees are so important to an urban community. He suggests eight reasons a tree is more than just beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

The Morton Arboretum

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Make Effective Sound Barriers

Royal Paulownia in Central Park
Royal Paulownia in Central Park. Steve Nix/About Forestry

Trees make effective sound barriers:

Trees muffle urban noise almost as effectively as stone walls. Trees, planted at strategic points in a neighborhood or around your house, can abate major noises from freeways and airports.

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Produce Oxygen

German Tree Plantation
German Tree Plantation. Placodus/Germany

Trees produce oxygen:

A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Become Carbon Sinks

der Wald
der Wald. Placodus/Germany

Trees become "carbon sinks":

To produce its food, a tree absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide, a global warming suspect. An urban forest is a carbon storage area that can lock up as much carbon as it produces.

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Clean the Air

Seedling Bed
Seedling Bed. TreesRus/About Forestry

Trees clean the air:

Trees help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Trees remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through respiration, and by retaining particulates.

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Shade and Cool

Tree Shade
Tree Shade. Steve Nix/About Forestry

Trees shade and cool:

Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer. In winter, trees break the force of winter winds, lowering heating costs. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be "heat islands," with temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Act as Windbreaks

Arborvitae, A Favorite Windbreak
Arborvitae, A Favorite Windbreak. Steve Nix/About.com

Trees act as windbreaks:

During windy and cold seasons, trees act as windbreaks. A windbreak can lower home heating bills up to 30%. A reduction in wind can also reduce the drying effect on other vegetation behind the windbreak.

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Fight Soil Erosion

Clearcuts on Mt. Bolivar
Clearcuts on Mt. Bolivar. Recycle/About Forestry

Trees fight soil erosion:

Trees fight soil erosion, conserve rainwater, and reduce water runoff and sediment deposit after storms.

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Eight Reasons to Plant Trees | Trees Increase Property Values

Tree in Urban Spain
Trees in Urban Spain. Art Plotkin

Trees increase property values:

Real estate values increase when trees beautify a property or neighborhood. Trees can increase the property value of your home by 15% or more.

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Your Citation
Nix, Steve. "A Tree's Importance and Environmental Benefit." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/trees-importance-and-environmental-benefit-1342855. Nix, Steve. (2020, August 26). A Tree's Importance and Environmental Benefit. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/trees-importance-and-environmental-benefit-1342855 Nix, Steve. "A Tree's Importance and Environmental Benefit." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/trees-importance-and-environmental-benefit-1342855 (accessed June 5, 2023).