Not only are trees essential for life, but as the longest living species on earth, they give us a link between the past, present, and future. Research shows that within minutes of being surrounded by trees and green space, your blood pressure drops, your heart rate slows and your stress levels come down. Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow and the carbon that they store in their wood helps slow the rate of global warming. They reduce wind speeds and cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves. It’s estimated that trees can reduce the temperature in a city by up to 7°C. Trees also help prevent flooding and soil erosion, absorbing thousands of liters of storm water
Trees provide shade and cooling. They reduce the temperature through transpiration. One mature tree can produce the same cooling equivalent to ten room – sized air conditioners. This becomes an effective tool in reducing urban heat islands and hot spots in cities. Having plenty of shade trees in your yard can help reduce your energy bill by allowing you to save on air conditioning. Carefully positioned trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25 percent.
Trees serve as natural sponges, collecting and filtering rainfall and releasing it slowly into streams and rivers, and are the most effective land cover for maintenance of water quality. The ability of forests to aid in the filtration of water provides benefits to our health and the health of an ecosystem and can also aid in water treatment. Forests provide these benefits by filtering sediments and other pollutants from the water in the soil before it reaches a water source, such as a stream, lake, or river.