Environmental Health Benefits of Trees

Trees offer various means for supporting the overall health of the environment. Trees supply wildlife habitats, increase biodiversity, and reduce climate change. Check out the following resources to discover the ways trees promote environmental health.

Academic Articles:

News Articles:

  • Urban Nature: How to Foster Biodiversity
    • The urban tree canopy, through the inclusion of a variety of native species, can help support, shelter and feed many species of birds and other wildlife that are often overlooked in cities.
  • Trees for Wildlife: Benefits for Wildlife
    • All stages of tree life and death are beneficial to wildlife, and should be incorporated into urban forests. Dead and decaying trees provide nesting, shelter, and nutrient recycling for many animals and plants, while complementing the canopy’s living trees.

Trees also offer specific water benefits. Trees intercept rainfall before it hits the ground, allowing for a slower release into the ground and evaporation. In addition, tree roots absorb storm water and stabilize fragile slopes and riparian zones - reducing sediment run-off. According to the 2014 City of Pittsburgh Street Tree Inventory, the city's 33,000 street trees alone intercept 15 million gallons of stormwater a year, for an average of 60 gallons per tree. This figure will only increase as the tree canopy matures.

 

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