Studies show that in the past years, U.S. cities have lost over 36 million trees annually for over a five-year period. Senior US Forest Service, David Nowak said, “cities will become warmer, more polluted and generally more unhealthy for inhabitants.” According to recent study, trees are known to lower summer daytime temperatures drop as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many know that trees are a crucial factor in nature, but now many have died because of hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, insects, disease, and most controllable, sensible development. “We see the tree cover being swapped out for impervious cover, which means when we look at the photographs, what was there is now replaced with a parking lot or a building,” Nowak said. He continues, “Every time we put a road down, we put a building and we cut a tree or add a tree, it not only affects that site, it affects the region.”
Below, Nowak explains why trees help the cities.
Heat Reduction: They take in and evaporate water, cooling the air around them. Trees provide shade for homes, office buildings, parks, and roadways.
Air Pollution Reduction: Trees absorb carbon and dispose of pollutants in the air.
Energy Emissions Reduction: According to Novak’s study, trees reduce energy costs by $4 billion a year. An example is a shading of a tree over a building can reduce one’s air conditioning rate and costs.
Water Quality Improvement: Trees take dirty surface water and absorb them.
Flooding Reduction: Trees absorb water and reduce runoff into streams.
Noise Reduction: One reason trees are lining highways is because they can deflect sound. They can also add natural sounds like birds chirping or the wind which has shown psychological benefits.
Improved Human Health: Doctors are prescribing walks in nature for patients because nature exposure lowers blood pressure and stress hormones. Studies have also shown living near green areas have lower death rates.
Nowak continues to explain how to help tree loss.
Protect What You Have: Nowak says, “We think we pay for our house, and so we must maintain it. But because we don’t pay for nature, we don’t need to. And that’s not necessarily true.”
Prune Dead Limbs: The risks of limbs damaging homes is lowered when there’s a tree upkeep.
Notice Troubled Trees: If something feels wrong about a tree, hiring an arborist or tree canopy can help keep your tree healthy on an annual basis.
Don’t Remove Old Trees If Not Necessary: Removing branches will benefit the environment more than “replacing” an old tree with a new one; it takes a long time for a baby tree to grow.
Allow Trees To Grow On Your Property: Nowak explains, “Although everyone’s aesthetic is different, it’s the cheap way to get cooler yards and lower energy bills. It’s also an inexpensive approach to flood and noise control.”