Jul 28, 2017

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Proven Ways Trees Benefit Human Health

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Healthy trees and healthy humans are intertwined in beautiful and indisputable ways. A natural setting including beautiful leafy and flowering trees has the capacity to effortlessly focus human attention, produce relaxation and enhance mood. Specific ways in which trees benefit humans fall into two main categories: ecosystem services and psychological benefits.

Proven Ways Trees Benefit Human Health

Ecosystem Services

Many of the ecosystem services provided by trees are essential to human comfort and the effective operation of communities. Because these services sometimes go unnoticed, attention needs to be drawn to them and their benefits need to be promoted so the healthy contributions of trees are top of mind to residents, community governments, and developers. Their vital contributions must not be allowed to remain under-appreciated lest their incorporation into future planning be insufficient.

Most importantly, trees produce oxygen for humans and other creatures to breathe. In addition, trees store carbon, thus purifying the air and doing their part in reducing greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. Both of these actions are direct benefits of trees’ natural life process of photosynthesis—pure and simple—and we couldn’t live without it.

Air purification by trees has actually been measured. A study by the US Forest Service valued the pollution that is removed by urban trees to be $3.8 billion every year. In Washington DC alone,

“trees removed nitrogen dioxide to an extent equivalent to taking 274,000 cars off the traffic-packed beltway, saving an estimated $51 million in annual pollution-related health care costs.”

Trees’ other ecosystem services include modifying ambient temperature through leaf transpiration and the cooling effect of shade while also intercepting the sun’s damaging UV rays. Additionally, trees absorb rainfall, reduce storm water runoff, and protect against erosion. They manage to accomplish all of this simply by their presence in our environment.

Psychological Benefits

Besides inspiring people with their beauty, trees as part of natural surroundings provide relief from “nature deficit disorder.” This is what psychologists call the malaise caused by spending excessive time indoors, which is further aggravated particularly when there are no views of the outdoors through windows.

The powerful connection between trees and human well-being is something most people who love the outdoors know instinctively. But it has also been demonstrated scientifically. In 1984, Roger Ulrich studied patients in a suburban Pennsylvania hospital who were recovering from gall bladder surgery. Half of the recovering patients were able to gaze out their windows at treetops amid a natural setting. The remaining patients had windows facing the brick wall of an adjoining building. The patients with leafy trees outside their windows not only recovered faster and requested less pain medication, they also had fewer surgical complications than those whose only view was a brick wall.

Surround your properties with the healthful benefits that come with an abundance of trees. Talk to the experts at Chambersville Tree Farm to select trees with the manageable maintenance level and desired attractiveness that is right for your landscaping and environmental needs.