why do we need trees in our environment
Trees play an especially important role in enhancing our quality of life in the urban environment and this is acknowledged in the Governments Sustainable Development Strategy. They screen unsightly structures and activities, give privacy and soften the hard lines of buildings. Trees also bring colour and contrasts into the urban environment. Not only do trees have a visual quality, but they also enhance the environment in less obvious ways. Trees improve air quality by acting as natural air filters removing dust, smoke and fumes from the atmosphere by trapping them on their leaves, branches and trunks. Just 1 hectare of beech woodland can extract 4 tonnes of dust per year from the atmosphere. Trees reduce the 'Greenhouse' effect by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. Each year a mature tree produces enough oxygen for 10 people. Trees are also an effective sound barrier and can limit noise pollution.
Recent research shows that trees also help reduce the stress of modern life. Trees in themselves benefit the environment and the landscape, but they are also an integral part of the ecosystem providing benefits to wildlife and biodiversity. Trees, especially older or veteran trees and those in groups or woodlands, provide habitats for native ground flora such as bluebells and fauna, particularly bats, red squirrels and invertebrates. The planting of trees and the care and preservation of mature trees can go a long way to making Trafford a great place to live, work learn and relax.
Trees reduce CO2. We hear a lot about our carbon footprint, but many people don't realize that the carbon in this equation is carbon dioxide, or CO2. The same way humans breath oxygen and exhale CO2, trees breath in CO2 and exhale oxygen. This carbon dioxide becomes sugars that can then be eaten, burnt for fuel, or simply enjoyed in its leafy form.
According to coloradotree. org, an adult tree can change 48 pounds of carbon every year into enough oxygen to keep two people alive. Trees reduce ozone levels. This effect is not just global, but local. In large cities, a reduction in ozone can mean milder temperatures and more breathable air. Trees reduce erosion. This is because their roots physically keep soil from washing away, but also because tree roots absorb and store water. A tree canopy can reduce the force of rain hitting the ground from a deluge to a gentle sprinkle, further preventing erosion. Trees can reduce heating and air conditioning costs. There is a reason trees tend to be clustered around homes. Homeowners want them there, not just for their shady beauty, but for their effect on temperature.
It is well known that trees can absorb summer heat. They also provide shade that can cool a house and yard substantially. In cooler months, trees provide a windbreak and trap heat. A difference of just degrees can save a lot of energy over the course of a year. Trees trap dust and debris. Dust, smog, and other particles in the air collect on the leaves and tend to stick there. This creates generally cleaner air for people and animals to breath, which can be important for quality of life in both cities and dusty agricultural areas. Trees provide an ecosystem for animals, insects, and other life. Trees are an important part of many ecosystems. They are not just part of the carbon cycle, but also a home and a food source for many critters. In fact, many animals have a preferred type of tree that they call home, which means every tree is a potential life-saver to certain species.
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