The Value of Trees in the Urban Landscape


Trees in our landscapes are not only beautiful but they provide countless benefits that can enrich our lives. These benefits extend well beyond backyard aesthetics and go on to include health implications, improved energy efficiency, and community-wide effects. 

Increased Energy Efficiency 

The canopy of properly placed trees surrounding your home can provide much needed shade to ensure the house stays cooler on hot summer days. Additionally, trees around the home can provide an often underestimated windscreen which can help diminish harsh winter winds and keep your home warmer in the winter months. The end result is the same - increased energy efficiency and cost savings on heating and cooling bills.

Environmental/Community Benefits 

There are innumerable environmental and community benefits of trees, however there are two that we chose to focus on at this time. 

Through the years, the community and public have been increasingly aware of the concern for increased CO2 emissions in our atmosphere. Trees are a beautiful way to help combat this as they naturally provide a reduction in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. In the process of consuming carbon dioxide, trees release more oxygen into the atmosphere as a byproduct. Depending on the age of the tree, they are estimated to absorb anywhere from 12-48lbs of carbon dioxide per year. Amazingly, trees also have the ability to absorb other harmful environmental gases as well, including sulfur dioxide, ozone, and nitrogen oxides, effectively serving as a filter to clean the air we breathe every day. 

Another important quality of trees is their ability to reduce storm water runoff and erosion. Trees are able to do this in three main ways. Firstly, a trees broad leaves and branching limbs help deflect heavy rains over a larger area.  Secondly, a tree’s wide reaching roots act as an anchor to support not only the tree itself but the surrounding soil, which helps prevent erosion. Lastly, trees act as a sponge to absorb surrounding ground water in the environment (a single mature tree can uptake thousands of gallons of water per year!). The end result is reduced storm water runoff and reduced soil erosion. 

Personal Health and Wellness  

Trees also provide the intangible benefit as a place of social gathering for local community members, and can provide a calming environment that reduces stress levels and improve overall health and wellbeing.

Property Value 

There are an abundance of studies showing the benefit of great landscaping on property value. Trees are essential to a well-maintained landscaped property. With proper planning, well placed trees on your property can greatly enhance your property value. 

In Summary

Trees provide countless benefits to individuals and communities as a whole. Trees not only provide improved energy efficiency in the home, they also improve property value, have long lasting environmental effects, and can improve one’s quality of life. After reading this, I hope you can truly appreciate the power of trees to change our lives both for today and for the future to come.

Chris Gill
ISA Certified Arborist® OH-6416A