Benefits of Urban Trees [Written by Courtney Schenk, who grew up with the trees in Cobble Hill] Urban trees improve air quality, protect the water supply, save energy, increase the number of tourists and shoppers in an area, help to combat global warming.

Global Warming: Trees sequester carbon dioxide reducing the amount of green house gases in the atmosphere.
Trees provide shade reducing the need to air conditioners up to 30% thereby reducing the amount of green house gases released in producing the energy to run the air conditioner. (Michigan State University Extension, Urban Forestry #07269501, “Benefits of Urban Trees”)

Approximately 800 million tons of carbon is stored in U.S. urban forests. (Coder, Dr. Kim D., “Identified Benefits of Community Trees and Forests”, University of Georgia, October, 1996.)

If every American family planted one tree, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by one billion lbs annually. This is almost 5% of the amount that humans produce each year. (American Forestry Association Tree Facts: Growing Greener Cities, 1992.)

Energy Savings:Trees also provide shade reducing the need for air conditioners by 30% thereby saving on home energy costs. ( Michigan State University Extension, Urban Forestry #07269501, “Benefits of Urban Trees”)

Trees lower local air temperatures by transpiring water and shading surfaces. Because they lower air temperatures, shade buildings in the summer, and block winter winds, they can reduce building energy use and cooling costs. (Nowak, David J., “Urban Trees and Air Quality”, November, 1995)

US Forest Service estimates the annual benefit of energy savings for a conventional house is between 20-25% when compared to a house in a wide-open area. (USFS meteorologist Gordon Heisler American Forests, “How Trees Fight Climate Change”, 1999.)

Pollution: There is up to a 60% reduction in street level particulates with trees. (Coder, Dr. Kim D., “Identified Benefits of Community Trees and Forests”, University of Georgia, October, 1996.)

Trees act as pollution filters from storm water. Their canopies and roots filter polluted particulate matter. Trees reduce the amount of water and pollutants that reach the storm drains. (American Forests Magazine, “Trees Tackle Clean Water Regulations”, Summer 2000.)

Economic Stability: A study at the University of Washington found that people were more likely to shop on streets that have trees than streets without trees. The study found that people correlate well-maintained streets with trees to better products in the store. ( Center for Urban Horticulture, Trees in Business Districts: Positive Effects on Consumer Behavior! )

People tend to linger and shop longer on tree-lined streets. (Trees Increase Economic Stability)

Trees enhance local economic stability by attracting stores and tourists. (Trees Increase Economic Stability)

Other Facts: A single mature tree releases enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings. (McAliney, Mike. Arguments for Land Conservation: Documentation and Information Sources for Land Resources Protection, Trust for Public Land, Sacramento, CA, December, 1993)

Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. (USDA Forest Service Pamphlet #R1-92-100)

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. ( Ulrich, Richard. (1984). View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery. Science, 224(4647), 420-421.)

Healthy trees can add up to 15 percent to residential property value. (Trees Reduce Noise Pollution and Create Wildlife and Plant Diversity)

In 1995, a survey of all Cobble Hill Trees was carried out as part of a borough-wide survey performed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. We have attached a downloadable PDF, for your review here. The Fund also conducted Tree Recording Project from 2010-2011.

Tree Fund member Courtney Schenck has created a handy and informative visual guide to some of the trees commonly found in our neighborhood in this downloadable PDF.

You can also find an informative and entertaining link to a NYC Parks Tree Map here.
Some recommendations by the Forestry Division of the Department of Parks and Recreation:

NYC Parks.org

These trees can withstand the rigors of city life. Because of the threat of the Asian Long-Horned Beetle, Maple trees are not being planted.

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