On day of giving thanks, trees should make the list

From cleaning the air and water to increasing property values, trees do much more than stand around looking beautiful. Photo: Davey Tree Expert Co.From cleaning the air and water to increasing property values, trees do much more than stand around looking beautiful.
Photo: Davey Tree Expert Co.

This Thanksgiving, when counting life’s blessings and listing those things to be grateful for, don’t forget to add trees to the list. It’s easy to forget these silent beauties and the impact they have on our lives. The best way to show gratitude to trees is to give them proper care.

Here, from Davey Tree Expert Co., are 10 reasons to be thankful for trees this year:

  1. Trees clean the air.

Trees act as giant filters that clean the air we breathe. Trees do this by intercepting and absorbing pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. A mature, leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

  1. Trees improve the soil.

Trees store and actually change harmful pollutants into less toxic forms. They filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal waste, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams. Plus, trees control soil erosion. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on the ground.

  1. Trees increase property value.

Real estate values increase when trees are planted on a property. Research shows that buyers are willing to spend 3 to 7 percent more on a home with ample trees. This curb-appeal factor can be the difference between someone stopping to look at your house or passing it by.

  1. Trees shade and cool.

Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer. Studies have shown that parts of cities without shade from trees can become “heat islands,” with temperatures as much as 12 degrees higher than surrounding tree-laden areas.

  1. Trees bring people together.

Neighborhoods with shady streets and parks create outdoor spaces that attract people, according to research. Their shade encourages people to enjoy walks and bike rides beneath their large canopies. Trees encourage people to interact with neighbors. Communities come together for new plantings to commemorate special occasions or mark a new start for the future.

  1. Trees reduce stress.

Whether supporting forts for children or providing creative inspiration for adults, trees give us a space we can retreat to. Simply sitting and looking at trees has been proven to reduce blood pressure as well as reduce stress-related hormones.

  1. Trees enhance the view.

Trees can be an easy fix for unsightly structures or parking lots. They catch the eye with four seasons of beautiful colors and transitions.

  1. Trees support wildlife.

From seeds to sprouts, trees are an important resource for animals, pollinators and birds. Trees provide food, shelter and a place to nest.

  1. Trees control noise pollution.

Trees are effective barriers against urban noise, not to mention much prettier than a stone wall. When planted strategically, trees reduce mechanical noises from highways and airports.

  1. Trees reduce violence.

Trees may foster safer, more sociable neighborhoods, data show.

Trees never stop giving. Don’t underestimate the value of trees and plants in a yard. Provide proper tree care and landscape maintenance this season and beyond, and you’ll reap the benefits for several seasons to come.

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