Why are they so important?

Urban and community forests include the trees along roads and highways, in our parks, and in our neighborhoods. They provide a wide range of economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits to society and greatly improve our quality of life.

Economic and Energy Conservation Benefits Provided by Trees:

  • Property values may increase by an average of 10%
  • The value of an average healthy street tree = $2,000
  • Retail sales in areas where trees are incorporated into the landscape are increased
  • Tree windbreaks can reduce winter heating costs by 20-30%
  • Shade trees reduce the exterior surface temperatures of buildings by 16° Fahrenheit,
    greatly cutting air conditioning costs
  • A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime

Social and Health Benefits Provided by Trees:

  • Nourish the human spirit
  • Provide limitless recreational opportunities for young and old
  • Offer a sense of history and place
  • Please the senses
  • Relieve stress and contribute to a sense of relaxation
  • Improve medical recovery and convalescence
  • Reduce domestic conflicts
  • Lower school aggression
  • Provide a sense of community

Environmental Benefits Provided by Trees:

  • Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Reduce airborne pollutants
  • Absorb rainwater runoff
  • Filter and cleanse runoff before it enters streams and reservoirs
  • Reduce soil erosion and improve filtration
  • Act as a buffer against harsh winds
  • Provide shade from the sun
  • Ameliorate the thermal impact of paved surfaces
  • Hold soil to reduce sedimentation choking aquatic vegetation
  • Act as sanctuaries for understory plants
  • Provide important habitat for wildlife
  • Reduce noise pollution

How can we save our community forests?

  • Educate yourself and others about our urban forest benefits
  • Do not clear cut your property of trees
  • Maintain trees in your own backyard
  • Support tree protection efforts and local ordinances
  • Sponsor environmental education programs
  • Hold an Arbor Day or Earth Day celebration
  • Plant a tree!