Blossoming in many shapes, colors, and sizes, not only do trees make our environments more beautiful, they also provide shade, shelter, and serenity. Among the hundreds of benefits that come with having trees, the ways in which they affect our health and wellness are some of the most prominent. Being silent and stationary, trees hold tremendous powers, quietly making our lives more enjoyable and healthier.
Read on to learn about 10 of the many benefits that trees offer us::
- Trees Reduce Stress
Trees decrease stress, rumination, and anxiety. In one study, 585 adult participants reported their moods after walking for 15 minutes in an urban setting and separate 15 minutes in a forest. The study took place in 52 different locations, including different neighbourhoods, city centers, gardens and forests. In all cases, the participants who walked through the forests reported feeling less anxious, less hostile and showed less depressive symptoms in comparison to the ones walking in urban settings.
- Trees Can Make Our Water Supply Cleaner and More Reliable
Trees filter over half of the water supply in the US. They clean the water, by removing pollutants and sediments before releasing it back into waterways and underground aquifers. Trees also supply steadier levels of water since rainfall seeps through these natural filters over time, rather than ending up in the rivers and lakes all at once.
- Trees Boost Mental & Physical health
While promoting, calm and happy feelings, trees also bring us a ton of physical benefits.
According to studies , trees have been linked to :
- lowering the rates of high blood pressure,
- lowering rates of heart attack & stroke
- Boosting immunity levels
- Lowering obesity rates
A recent study done in Australia, also showed that living in greener environments can lower the prevalence of type 2 diabetics.
- Trees Help Us Battle Climate Change
Through photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and produce oxygen. The CO2 is stored in the tree roots, trunk, branches and leaves. This carbon dioxide becomes cellulose, a fibrous substance which becomes wood. The CO2 also becomes glucose, which supplies the trees energy. By filtering out large amounts of CO2 from the air, trees help to slow down the buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that have been rapidly warming up our planet.
- Trees Remove Particulate Matter from the Air
Trees remove the most dangerous Particulate Matter from the air that are a result of the burning of fossil fuels. These tiny particles are suspended into the air and can reach dangerous concentration levels, especially in large cities. This means that by planting more trees near factories and highways, you can reduce ailments like asthma, heart and respiratory conditions.
- Trees Boost Lifespan
A group of scientists from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Women’s Hospital in Boston assessed the greenery surrounding the homes of around 10.500 women. Between the years of 2000 and 2008 they tracked the changes of vegetation and participants’ death rate. Results showed that the participants with the most vegetation around their homes experienced up to 12% lower death rate than those living in less green areas.
- Trees Help You Sleep Better
Trees have also been found to lower the possibility of developing insufficient sleep.
People surrounded by greenery and trees are much more likely to get enough sleep than people who live in areas with less greenery. You are less likely to develop an insufficient sleep pattern if you live in a greener area, according to two consequent studies done in the periods of 2006-2009 and 2012-2015.
- Lowers Prevalence of Asthma
By filtering particles out of the air we breathe, trees decrease the risk of asthma and respiratory conditions. One study found that in 2010, trees removed 17.4 million tons of air pollution in the US, preventing 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms.
- Trees Help Protect us from Extreme Heat and Cold Weather
Trees provide shade, and protect us from sizzling hot temperatures in the summer and heatwaves. Neighborhoods with a lot of pavement absorb more heat which can make it even more difficult to cope with the heat. The shade of trees acts like natural air conditioning and can lower temperatures by over 10 degrees.
In winter, trees can act like shields, protecting us from cold winds (especially evergreen trees). Trees can help us cut costs for air conditioning and heating systems, and save energy.
- Trees give us Food
Trees provide us with a lot of nutritious and healthy foods. Over 50% of the fruits that we consume come from trees. In addition to fruits trees also give us foods derived from nuts, leaves, bark and roots.