Nov. 12, 2001
TREES BRING LONG-LASTING
OFTEN UNEXPECTED, BENEFITS
by Erv Evans
Master Gardener Volunteer Program
N.C. State University
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
As fall fades into winter,
the time becomes perfect for tree planting. North
Extension's Master Gardeners are planting Trees of
Strength to remember
those who died Sept. 11 and to honor those who protect
and defend the country.
You can join them by planting a tree in your yard.
Over the years, your
investment will be returned in ways you might not expect.
By planting and caring
for trees, you can help reduce pollution, lower
energy costs, improve
your community's appearance and increase the value of
your property. Trees
also can sooth and relax us and help us connect to
nature and our surroundings.
Here are just a few of
the benefits that trees provide:
- Deciduous trees block
sunlight in the summer but allow sunlight to reach
and warm your home in the winter. For the most benefit, plant deciduous
trees on your home's south and west sides.
- A tree's shade can improve
your heat pump's efficiency.
- Evergreen trees can
cut wind speed and, thus, reduce winter heat loss from
- A well-placed tree can
reduce noise. And a belt of trees 100 feet wide and
45 feet high can reduce highway noise by 50 percent.
- Trees help settle out
and trap dust, pollen and smoke. The dust level can
be as much as 75 percent lower on a tree's sheltered side than on the
- Trees attract birds
and other animals by providing food and shelter.
- Trees absorb carbon
dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur
dioxide and carbon monoxide, from the air and release oxygen. For every
10,000 miles you drive, it takes seven trees to remove the amount of carbon
dioxide produced if your car gets 40 miles per gallon; it will take 10 trees
at 30 mpg; 15 trees at 20 mpg; 20 trees at 15 mpg; and 25 trees at 12 mpg.
- Trees help reduce surface
water runoff from storms, thus decreasing soil
erosion and the accumulation of sediment in streams.
- Hospital patients have
been shown to recover from surgery more quickly
when their hospital rooms offered a view of trees. They also complained less
and needed fewer painkillers.
- Trees can separate and
define space thus providing a sense of privacy,
solitude and security, and create a feeling of relaxation and well being.
- Trees can enhance community
economic stability by attracting businesses
and tourists -- people linger and shop longer when trees are present.
- Apartments and offices
in wooded areas rent faster and have higher
occupancy rates. And people who work in offices in wooded areas are
reportedly more productive and less likely to be absent from work.
Trees also can serve as
a living legacy for the next generation, linking us
to near and distant
generations. That's the idea behind the Trees of
creating a lasting memorial to those who died Sept. 11.
To find out more about
the campaign, or about tree-planting and care,
contact your county
North Carolina Cooperative Extension center. Or look on
the Web at http://www.treesofstrength.org/
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