Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 Very Human Benefits of Trees

I’ve been writing a few posts on trees lately to go along with this month’s poll (see sidebar). I’ve learned a lot of great things that are worth sharing.

Here is my list of:

10 Reasons that Trees are Good for Humans.

(Sources listed at bottom of post)

1. Trees help children concentrate: Children who have parks and trees to play around concentrate better. MC

2. Trees reduce stress: Trees, community gardens, and parks can help reduce physiological stress and aesthetically improve an area. MC

  • It has been shown that exposure to trees can decrease blood pressure and reduce muscle tension FCV

3. Trees lower UV-radiation: Trees provide shade from harmful ultraviolet radiation, particularly in playgrounds, schoolyards, and picnic areas. MC UV radiation is what causes skin cancer

4. Trees reduce crime:  The psychological benefits of an urban forest can reduce property crime by 48% and violent crime by 56%! Dc.gov Aggression and violence are reduced with nature nearby (DDOT)

5. Trees strengthen neighborhoods: When neighborhoods are full of trees, residents spend more time outside mingling with neighbors—building personal ties, stronger communities, and a greater sense of well being. MC

6. Trees help heal - Hospital patients have been shown to recover from surgery more quickly when their hospital room offered a view of trees. BG

7. Trees provide lumber to build things - Downed trees can be used for more than wood chip production. Depending on the tree size, species, and how it is removed, the wood might be re-used for a new purpose such as art or furniture. Think outside the chipper! MC Trees also provide firewood and kindling

8. Trees Calm Traffic - The Institute of Transport Studies at England’s University of Leeds has found that street tree plantings have a traffic calming effect. Tree lined streets act as psycho perceptive measures, which subtly slows traffic and encourages speed limits of 25, 30 or 35 mph by making roadways appear narrower. PT

9. Trees provide food – almost too obvious to list, but so important to all of us!

10. Trees can be planted by one person but benefit many

Sources: Casey Trees (CT)
Montgomery County Department of the Environment (MC)
District Department of Transportation (DDOT)
District Department of the Environment (DDOE)
Fairfax County Virginia (FCV)
District Department of Transportation (DDOT)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)
Plano Texas (PT)
Bowling Green Kentucky (BG)

The Woods in Your Backyard – a Workshop

Although this is a little outside of the Metro DC area, it sounds like a very interesting workshop and goes along with the theme I’ve been writing about lately – TREES!

The workshop, entitled The Woods in Your Backyard, consists of two sessions, scheduled one week apart, to give you time to put what you’ve learned into practice between sessions. It is geared towards property owners that own less than ten acres of property – wooded or not! The primary focus of the workshop is to learn to create and enhance natural areas around your home so that certainly can apply to any size property.

Workshop dates are 2/15 and 2/22 from 6:30 pm – 9:00 p.m.
The sessions are being held at:

Howard Conservancy -Gudelsky Center
10520 Old Frederick Road
Woodstock, MD 21163

The workshop uses the manual The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home.

And includes the following topics:
• Forest Ecology
• Wildlife enhancement
• Woodland inventory techniques
• Tree & shrub identification
• Tree planting and care
• Invasive species control
• Developing goals and objectives
• Resources for your land

You can register and download the brochure about the program on the Forestry for the Bay website.

Website by Water Words That Work LLC