Value of Trees
Why protect Trees? Most of us already know that trees are valuable to our health and well-being. The scientific and economic information on the value of trees in our communities is overwhelming. Here are a few of the many established benefits of trees:
Property values of homes landscaped with trees are higher than those of non-landscaped homes, and the property values of cities with tree-protection ordinances are on average higher than property values in cities without these protections. As just one example, mature trees in a well-maintained yard can increase home value by 10%.
Trees reduce heat islands and lower the cost to cool our homes. Equally importantly, trees reduce the strain on the grid during peak times because of the shade they provide.
Trees improve our air quality by filtering particulates and other potentially harmful gasses. Tree-lined streets are in fact linked to lower asthma rates and better cardiovascular health.
Trees sequester large masses of carbon and help mitigate climate change.
Trees are correlated with better health. In the City of Cleveland alone, the economic benefits of avoided adverse health effects associated with Cleveland’s tree canopy are estimated to be over $3.6 million. Additionally, trees foster our connection to nature in ways that improve mental health, creating feelings of relaxation in addition to providing privacy and a sense of security.
Trees provide habitat and food for birds and other animals. One oak supports thousands of species of fauna.
By reducing surface runoff of water from storms, trees decrease soil erosion and sedimentation of streams.
Studies suggest that trees communicate with one another and form complex networks.
The City of Cleveland estimates that if we totaled up the benefits of the tree canopy in Cleveland, it yields economic gains to the City alone of more than $11 million annually. For more complete information on the benefits of trees, see Cleveland’s 2015 Tree Plan. And if you want to do the math on your own trees, go to the Tree Benefits Calculator.