The Many Health Benefits Of Trees
The aesthetic properties of trees are well-known among property owners; lush green canopies set the stage for cool backyard fun, cleaner air, and higher property values. Did you know that adding a few trees to a well-planned home landscape can actually improve your health?
Trees and greenery offer many health advantages that go beyond merely beautifying the neighborhood. Studies reveal that tree loss in urban and rural areas is linked to a rise in disease and higher mortality rates. Read on to see how the trees surrounding you can improve and positively impact your health.
Trees produce a “cooling” effect. Trees planted in urban areas can play a critical role in helping to keep temperatures down. The average reduction in temperature ranges from 2 to almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer; in a heat wave, this can make a significant difference for people who are sensitive to high heat and humidity. Trees form a cooling canopy that shades sidewalks and lowers the risk of sunburn and heat stroke.
Trees reduce air pollutants. Particulate matter concentration, or air pollution, is greatly reduced by adding trees near your home and property. Large leaves have a greater surface area for leaves to filter toxic particles from the air. Certain types of trees, such as elm trees, have “hairy” leaves, so they can get particles to stick more efficiently. If particles are stuck on tree surfaces, that means you are not breathing them in.
Trees help to extend your lifespan. A study published in Health Perspectives (April 2022) revealed that women living in areas with the most vegetation had a 12 percent lower death rate than those with less vegetation. The strongest associations for reduced death rates resulted from respiratory illnesses and cancer.
In making the connection between increased oxygen levels and better health, it makes sense that areas with a high concentration of trees and other vegetation would contribute to better health. Plant your favorites and breathe easier.
Trees combat depression and stress. Along with contributing to better physical health, trees can contribute to higher levels of motivation, physical activity, and lower stress levels. Lowered stress levels can be directly attributed to a decrease in depression and anxiety for those who live nearby. Humans have a deep, innate connection to nature that is evident when we see the benefits of our health just by spending time outdoors.
The absence of trees harms health. Tree loss can be caused by infestation, deforestation, or continued urban sprawl. Regardless of the cause, the effects of tree loss may not be immediately evident, but they are profound. The spread of a tree-killing beetle allowed the United States Forest Service to conduct an experiment on the environmental effect on public health. Over a 17-year period, they observed more than 15,000 additional deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Other diseases that ran rampant were diabetes and respiratory diseases.
Trees improve asthmatic conditions. Yet another study of 150 Portland neighborhoods revealed that trees significantly impact nitrogen dioxide levels in the atmosphere, which can be linked to the development of asthma and respiratory diseases. In focusing on placing trees throughout these neighborhoods, it was noted that emergency room visits due to asthma attacks were reduced by 60 people annually.
Trees help to support better sleep. A study of 255,000 adults revealed that green spaces promoted better health and sleep. Other factors such as proximity to water, ambient temperature, and light exposure also played a part in sleep quality, but the most significant variable was the presence of trees and greenery in a home environment.
Time To Replenish Those Trees!
Who knew that something as simple as planting the right trees on your property could improve your home, your property, and your health? Sarasota Tree Service has you covered when it comes to all aspects of tree care, landscape planning, and assessment. Let us plan a healthy, thriving landscape that will serve you for years to come. Visit www.sarasotatreeserv.com for more information.