THE GLOBAL BENEFITS OF TREES

We are faced with the challenge of providing for the needs of a rapidly increasing world population from the diminishing resources of a finite and endangered planet. What is needed is a trend towards compassionate living the vegan way, with the emphasis on the use of trees and their products. (Kathleen Jannaway)

Trees are among the most important assets on the planet and they can contribute to the solution of many of the problems that challenge humankind.

Consequently, trees offer the means to meet the needs of an exploding global population from the finite resources of the planet, maintain water supplies, check floods, soil erosion and desertification and reverse global warming.

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We need to do more to harness the massive potential of trees as a source of food and many other raw materials that people can use for clothing, shelter and energy.

Trees can yield everything that humans really need, except the minerals extracted directly from the earth.

Trees can thrive where arable and grain crops would fail to grow.

Wood is the fuel of most of the world’s people.

Burning it in efficient stoves minimizes waste and pollution.

With careful management programmes, wood can provide an indefinitely renewable resource.

If we ceased all animal agriculture, we could free up vast areas of land for tree planting programmes.

In any case a plant-exclusive diet requires less land.

(source: The Movement for Compassionate Living)

Environmental Benefits of Trees

  • Trees alter the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, and harboring wildlife
  • Local climates are moderated from extreme sun, wind, and rain
  • Radiant energy from the sun is absorbed or deflected by leaves on deciduous trees in the summer and is only filtered by branches of deciduous trees in winter
  • The larger the tree, the greater the cooling effect.
  • By using trees in the cities, we can moderate the heat-island effect caused by pavements and buildings in commercial areas
  • Wind speed and direction is affected by trees – the more compact the foliage on the tree or group of trees, the more effective the windbreak
  • Rainfall, sleet, and hail are absorbed or slowed by trees, providing some protection for people, pets, and buildings
  • Trees intercept water, store some of it, and reduce stormwater runoff
  • Air quality is improved through the use of trees, shrubs, and turf: leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates, rain then washes the pollutants to the ground
  • Leaves absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and store carbon as growth
  • Leaves also absorb other air pollutants – such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide – and release oxygen
  • By planting trees and shrubs, we return developed areas to a more natural environment that is attractive to birds and wildlife
  • Ecological cycles of plant growth, reproduction, and decomposition are again present, both above and below ground
  • Natural harmony is restored to the urban environment

(source: Trees Are Good)

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Today it is the duty of every thinking being to live, and to serve not only his own day and generation, but also generations unborn by helping to restore and maintain the green glory of the forests of the earth. (Richard St. Barbe Baker)

Social & Economic Benefits of Trees

  • Trees Create Economic Opportunities – fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities. Vocational training for youth interested in green jobs is also a great way to develop economic opportunities from trees
  • Trees Provide Food – an apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year and can be planted on the tiniest urban lot. Aside from fruit for humans, trees provide food for birds and wildlife
  • 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 Mark The Seasons – look at the trees, is it Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?
  • Trees Are Teachers & Playmates – whether as houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for human retreat throughout the ages
  • 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 & Habitat for Wildlife – sycamore and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels
  • Trees Block Things – trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and unsightly views.Trees muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green
  • Trees Absorb Dust and Wind and Reduce glare
  • Trees Provide Wood – in suburban and rural areas, trees can be selectively harvested for fuel and craft wood
  • 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 percent
  • Trees Increase Business Traffic – 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

(source: Tree People)

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Benefits of Urban Trees

Trees in urban areas are essential.

They clean the air, provide natural flood defences, mask noise, calm traffic and promote a general sense of wellbeing.

This makes trees among the most important armouries in city living.

It’s estimated that by 2050, 80% of the population will live in cities, and yet we’re planting fewer trees than the number we’re losing.

Accordingly, as the Victorians created a legacy of urban trees for us all to enjoy today, it’s up to us all to safeguard trees for generations to come.

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Urban trees are an essential multi-functional resource.

They provide a vast array of benefits for local people, urban communities, and the cityscape.

These include improved physical health and mental well-being.

They also mitigate against the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI), pollution absorption, flood protection, and wildlife habitat.

Urban trees, parks, and open spaces provide many city dwellers with their only recreational space, consequently, they promote community cohesion, contact with nature and they create sensory outdoor learning resources.

(source: Tress For Cities)

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