Benefits of the Urban Tree

So you live in the city. There are cars, highrises and other buildings that dominate your landscape. You know what else you will see though, especially in London, Ontario? Well, the Forest City has trees, of course! And why is it important to have trees in an urban setting? Well I am glad you asked. Learn some of the benefits of trees!


  1. Trees improve emotional well-being. Call us sappy if you want, but it is a measurable fact that the presence of trees in an urban setting adds a natural aesthetic to an otherwise concrete world, which can help to improve mood and overall emotional well-being for those in contact with them.
  2. Trees reduce noise pollution. Treeworks states that “A screen of trees 30m wide will absorb about 6-8 decibels of sound“. That certainly helps to reduce the sound of brakes, sirens and other background noises associated with living in an urban setting.
  3. Trees reduce air pollution. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other air pollutants, such as ozone, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide from the air. As cities are often congested with automobiles, which as we all know are high carbon producers, we need every tree we have to help counter the effect of our fast paced lifestyle.
  4. Trees improve air quality. Not only do trees absorb carbon dioxide, but they also emit oxygen, which is essential for us air-breathing mortals. Don’t think that folks suffering from breathing difficulties like asthma, emphysema or other bronchial difficulties don’t notice that too! A little less smog is a GOOD thing.
  5. Trees provide shade. Life in a concrete jungle can get pretty hot. Trees for Cities notes that “Trees can also save as much as 10% of annual energy consumption around buildings by moderating the local climate keeping it cool in summer and warmer in winter“.
  6. Trees reduce erosion. That is erosion from water runoff, as well as wind erosion. The root system from a tree helps to catch storm water runoff. The rest of the tree helps to reduce wind, which is often channelled more dramatically between towering buildings within a cityscape.
  7. Trees increase privacy. There is certainly a measure of comfort to be taken from a little time alone evry once in a while. The presence of an urban forest can help to increase a sense of calm and re-connection with oneself that is sorely lacking in our fast-paced, multi-connected, yet ever-more isolated world.
  8. Trees extend the life of paved surfaces. Just by being there, a tree can benefit everything around it, including the roads it stands beside. A tree’s leafy canopy protects the asphalt from the sun’s punishing rays, which in turn prevents it from drying out and crumbling at an earlier date.
  9. Trees increase safety. From less vandalism, to slower traffic, to a higher likelihood of people wanting to shop or linger in the area, trees just leave us with a calmer, slower pace that is hard to replicate via other means. Have you hugged a tree lately?
  10. Trees are beautiful! And that is a fact. You just cannot beat the aesthetic beauty of a tree and the sense of wonder it can evoke as it changes throughout a season. From the Tree Benefits Page, “Studies have shown that hospital patients with a view of trees out their windows recover much faster and with fewer complications than similar patients without such views.” That just makes sense to the likes of me.

Can you think of any other benefits from urban trees? What is your favourite?

Share your favourite benefit of trees and maybe we’ll even write a post on it in an upcoming post! Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

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Published by
January 18, 2012 3:59 pm