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One Million Trees for One Million People

Twenty Reasons to Plant a Tree

Used with permission of TreePeople

1. Trees Combat the Greenhouse Effect

Global warming is the result of an excess of greenhouse gases, created by burning fossil fuels and destroying tropical rainforests. Heat from the sun, reflected back from the earth, is trapped in this thickening layer of gases and global temperatures rise as a result. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.

2. Trees Clean the Air

Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

3. Trees Provide Oxygen

In one year an acre of trees can provide enough oxygen for eighteen people.

4. Trees Cool the Streets and the City

Trees cool the city by up to 10�F by shading our homes and streets and breaking up urban “heat islands” – and by releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.

5. Trees Conserve Energy

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50%. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.

6. Trees Save Water

Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week, the equivalent of two toilet flushes. What’s more, as trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

7. Trees Help Prevent Water Pollution

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants to the ocean.

8. Trees Help Prevent Soil Erosion

On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.

9. Trees Shield Children from Ultra-Violet Rays

According to a National Skin Cancer Prevention Education Program report released in 1996 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common and most rapidly increasing form of cancer in the country. Trees provide protection from cancer-causing ultra-violet rays, especially on campuses and in playgrounds where children spend hours outdoors.

10. 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 us, trees provide food for birds and wildlife.

11. Trees Are Teachers and Playmates

Whether houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for human retreat throughout the ages.

12. Trees Mark the Seasons

Is it winter, spring or summer or fall? Look at the trees.

13. Trees Create Economic Opportunities

Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities.

14. 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 planting.

15. Trees Add Unity

Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.

16. Trees Provide A Canopy and Habitat for Wildlife

Sycamore, and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

17. Trees Block Things

Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and power lines and poles. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.

18. Trees Provide Wood

In populated areas, trees can be selectively harvested for fuel and craft wood.

19. 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%.

20. Trees Increase Business Traffic

Think about the most pleasant places to shop in your community. Chances are, trees provide shade for pedestrians and cars.


To learn more about trees
and how to select, plant, and care for them: