Ten Good Reasons to Grow Trees
Newtyle Tree Planting 2001
- Trees are good absorbers of carbon dioxide (a global warming gas) which they can take out of the atmosphere and turn into wood. Each mature tree can 'fix' 17 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year. This helps reduce global warming and the consequent effects.
- Trees act as air filters. Their leaves have a surface area as much as 12 times greater than the ground they overshadow, and this canopy helps to trap the dust and carbon and absorbs harmful ozone pollutants - so trees do help to clean the air we breathe and make it healthier.
- Green leafy surroundings encourage people to take regular exercise. Footpaths and cycle ways which follow green and leafy routes are more sheltered, attractive and more interesting.
- Shade reduces harmful ultra-violet solar radiation and lessens the risk of skin cancer. Trees can provide valuable shade; an individual tree provides a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 6 to 10, whilst dense woodland can have an SPF of up to 100.
- Urban trees can reduce wind speeds around buildings and so reduce energy loss from buildings. An effective windbreak can save about 15% of the heat energy used in a typical home.
- Trees can produce useful timber products such as paper, fish-smoking fuel, furniture, gardening wood chips, fencing, fuel wood and house construction timbers.
- Trees and shrubs can be effective in absorbing noise, particularly where foliage and branches extend to the ground.
- A study conducted in Sweden showed that wooded rural scenes were more effective than treeless urban scenes in sustaining people's interest and the rural scenes tended to result in lower level of sadness and fear. Urban woodlands can promote feelings of well-being and provide a conducive setting for 'recharging the batteries'.
- Trees and woodlands provide a home for wild life such as birds, beetles, spiders and squirrels. Animals can find good sources for their food and shelter in woodlands. Native tree and shrub species are particularly good at this.
- In this increasingly man-made and man-modified world, urban trees and woodlands can bring the natural environment right into town. This contact with nature is increasingly considered to be important for keeping our urban existence in context and for keeping in touch with the passage of time and seasons.
Forfar Lochside Wood 2004