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We Should Plant More Trees

Urban trees

Here are five reasons why we should plant more trees.

  1. Trees sequester carbon dioxide and help cool the planet
    Human activity has increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Caused by our industries, the food we eat, the Amazon package which arrived at your door this morning, the energy created to charge your phone.
    This has led to temperatures rising across the world, causing more frequent extreme weather events and polar ice to melt at an increasing rate, among many things.
    Trees can help. When a tree breathes, it inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen. As a tree matures, it can consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year (among other greenhouse gases like ozone), and release enough oxygen for you to breathe for two years.
    Some trees are even more effective, like the Mangrove tree found in Madagascar and Indonesia and the Avocado Tree in Haiti, which can absorb up to four times more due to their ability to store larger amounts of carbon in the soil around their root systems.
    So, by planting more trees, we can fight climate change and cool the planet.
  2. Trees foster biodiversity
    A single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insects, fungi, mammals, and other plants. Without trees, much life would be left homeless.
    Woods and trees are home to more wildlife than any other landscape, providing homes for thousands of species, including our most loved animals.
    Next to rivers, trees can also keep water cool and improve conditions for aquatic animals.
  3. Trees are important for mental and physical health
    Trees can help us feel less stressed and more restored. Reconnecting with our ancient grandparents is one of the most well-researched benefits of nature exposure, showing to decrease stress, rumination and anxiety.
    A survey of 585 young adult Japanese participants saw that after fifteen minutes of walking in an urban setting or forest, that anxiety, hostility, fatigue, confusion and depressive symptoms were significantly less in the forest setting. For those who were more anxious before, this had the greatest effect.
    Another study found that living in proximity to trees was better for the emotional brain. Meaning a better brain structure to more effectively handle stress.
    These findings, amongst many others, show how even short amounts of time with trees can give us a break from our frenzied lifestyles.
  4. Trees prevent flooding and erosion
    Scientists have begun to measure how effective trees and wooded areas are at reducing flood risk, and the results are astounding.
    A multi-scale experiment, the Pontbren Project in Wales, showed that sheep-free plots planted with broadleaved trees were on average sixty-seven times more effective at absorbing surface runoff when compared to grassland.
    Evidence from a number of studies indicate that tree planting can significantly reduce peak flood flows, flow volumes and time to peak at small scales (within plots, fields and very small catchments), greatly reducing the chances of floods.
    This shows that trees will not only help us reduce future climate change, but help us in the medium term with the detrimental effects.
  5. Trees increase property value
    The price of a house is subject to a multitude of factors but there is one certain way to boost the value. Have a beautiful tree in the garden.
    Japanese maple’s (a tree known to particularly thrive in the British climate) can boost the price of a house significantly. A well maintained garden itself can add up to 20% to a property’s value in the UK.