We know that trees are good for the earth – their roots support soil and prevent erosion, their canopies provide homes for countless bugs and animals, and they uphold entire ecosystems across the planet.
What we also know, and are telling the world about, is that they are also good for people. Our relationship with trees runs to the origins of our species, and our health and theirs are bound together. We work so hard to support trees because they work so hard to support people.
Here are some of our favorite health benefits of trees for human health:
1. Trees clean the air – Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. They effectively make it much easier for us all to breathe!
2. Trees cool the streets and the city – Trees cool the city by up to 10F by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban heat islands, and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves. They protect us, especially our vulnerable populations by the extreme heat we face in the city every year.
3. Trees lessen asthma rates – The presence of more trees in communities is associated with fewer asthma-related admissions to the hospital. This is presumably because of everything they do to clean the air around us!
4. Trees decrease levels of stress, anxiety, and aggression – Being in nature can lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol. Just the color green has a calming effect on our brains!
5. Trees reduce depression – Children who live in areas with more natural vegetation are less likely to display high levels of depression symptoms. This could be because natural vegetation is conducive to going outside!
6. Trees heal – Patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster with less complications and take fewer pain prescription doses.
7.Trees lower symptoms of ADHD – Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue!
8. Trees reduce violence – Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of crime in and around their homes than their greener counterparts.
9. Time outside around nature can reduce loneliness – On average, 90% more people are observed in green spaces than they are in barren spaces.
10. As minimal as five hours a month (two 40-minute walks per week) in nature can help prevent mild depression.
We love to say “trees need people and people need trees,” because it’s true! They support, protect, and uplift us and so we owe them our support, protection, and attention. If you’d like to join us to increase greenspaces in the ground and create a healthier neighborhood, visit www.treepeople.org/calender and sign up for a volunteer event today!