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Making our lives better

Here are some ways trees make our lives better:

Trees help us relax. The sight of trees reduces blood pressure and increases worker productivity. Exposure to trees and nature reduces children’s stress, which can reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Drivers who can see trees and nature are less frustrated. A view of trees can help hospital patients recover more quickly and has been shown to reduce diastolic blood pressure and stress. 

Trees keep us cooler. By casting shade and giving off moisture from its leaves, a big shade tree can reduce the surrounding temperature by 10 to 15 degrees. In cities, planting a large amount of trees can reduce the “heat island effect” caused by heat stored in paving and masonry buildings.

Trees make our streets quieter. Trees reduce noise by absorbing sound, especially at high frequencies. A band of trees and shrubs planted on a raised berm can reduce highway noise by 6 to 10 decibels.

Trees make our cities safer. On a community-wide level, the presence of trees in urban neighborhoods has been linked to reducing aggression and lowering criminal activity. In city areas with nearby trees and natural landscapes, there is less domestic violence. On tree-lined streets, people drive more slowly, reducing accident risk. Studies have shown that trees contribute to stronger ties among neighbors, a greater sense of safety, closer supervision of children in outdoor places, healthier patterns of children's play, more use of neighborhood common spaces, fewer property crimes, and fewer violent crimes. Adolescents in urban communities may display less aggressive behavior if they live in neighborhoods with more greenery. And some studies suggest that the presence of trees simply makes urban residents feel safer overall.

Trees surround us in beauty. Green in summer, golden in fall, lovely even in winter when their branches are outlined with snow, and glorious in spring, trees bring life to city streets and grandeur to suburban boulevards. Without trees, our neighborhoods would be stark and lifeless. Without trees, the horizon would be empty. Without the woods, where would the trail go?