Trees provide environmental, social and health benefits to the municipality. They absorb air pollutants and release oxygen, provide shade for humans and shelter for local wildlife; add value to surrounding properties; and make our streets more attractive, green and liveable.
Trees increase property value
Trees can soften the harsh lines of buildings and screen unsightly views. Research has shown that properties in leafy streets have been valued at 30 per cent higher than less leafy streets in other parts of the suburb. An attractive tree planted in the right spot can complement architecture and increase the appeal of homes.
Trees can reduce power bills and save energy
Trees near buildings can reduce the demand for heating and cooling, which results in lower power bills and less carbon emissions from Australia’s largely coal-based electricity industry. Deciduous trees planted on the north side of homes can reduce air-conditioning running costs by as much as 12-15 per cent and will provide shade in summer and make way for sunlight in winter.
Trees strengthen our sense of place
The unique characteristics – size, shape and colour – of different tree species help visually define Australia’s urban and bush landscapes. People appreciate the beauty of trees – whether in their back yards, the street, parks and reserves, or in the country.
Trees increase biodiversity
Indigenous trees (and many introduced species) provide food, shelter and protection from predators for many birds, animals and insects. As well as provide habitat for wildlife, diverse tree species in gardens, parks and streets can become corridors that create links from urban areas to bushland.
Trees lower air temperatures in summer
During hot weather large areas of asphalt and concrete can trap the heat of the sun and reflect it back into the environment, which raises the temperature in surrounding areas. Planting trees amongst our houses, buildings, parking lots and streets provides shading that helps reduce this heat-island effect.
Trees help to reduce flooding and improve water quality
In urban areas, hard surfaces such as concrete prevent water from soaking into the ground – directing it towards drainage systems instead. This can be a problem during heavy rain with flooding and damage occurring because stormwater has inundated the drainage system. Trees can capture large amounts of rain through their root systems, canopies and leaves before removing pollutants and redirecting it into the ground water supply.
Trees reduce noise pollution
Trees help to reduce noise pollution by absorbing and blocking urban noise. This has been shown to reduce stress for people living and working in urban areas. Vegetation planted along freeways forms a sound barrier that reduces traffic noise to surrounding suburbs.
Trees improve air quality
Trees help to improve air quality by converting carbon gasses into oxygen, reducing smog and making it easier to breathe for people with respiratory problems.
Trees protect us from climate change
Through a process called photosynthesis, trees store carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone in their leaves, branches and roots. Removing carbon from the atmosphere helps protect us from the effects of climate change.
Trees improve health and wellbeing
Being outdoors and amongst trees can have a restorative effect on people through helping to create a sense of wellbeing. Getting in touch with nature has been known to assist with people’s ability to recover from stress, illness and injury.
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