Growth Rings

Health – It grows on trees!

Posted on August 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

By Jesse Batty

While trees certainly are aesthetically pleasing, urban tree planting programs are becoming essential for the public health benefits that they provide to communities.

The earth has seen a huge increase in its population over the last century, and with that has come an increase in pollution. As we all know, increasing pollution levels are not good for us.

The act of planting trees has become vitally important for a healthy ecosystem, as trees have the ability to clean our air, water, and soil. Trees are like natural sponges and air filters: they absorb stormwater that normally would end up in our rivers, they sequester carbon and absorb other airborne pollutants, and they even have the ability to clean contaminated soil and ground water.

Numerous studies have also shown the relationship between trees and nature and a person’s mental and physical health. Patients in hospitals heal more quickly if they have a view of trees and nature, neighbors are more likely to get out and walk and run through tree-lined communities, babies in tree-lined neighborhoods are more likely to have a healthy birth weight, and trees are essential for a person’s mental well being.

To sum up, trees are good for you! And whether you realize it or not, trees are making you a healthier person every day.

Want to learn more about the benefits of trees?

Batty is a Neighborhood Trees Specialist for Friends of Trees.

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3 Responses to “Health – It grows on trees!”

  1. I have never been so thrilled with my new tree which was planted by “Friends of Trees” on March 19th of this year. It is thriving beautifully and I take care of it like it’s my baby. Thank you “Friends of Trees” for everything that you do! Our city is benefitting immensely from this marvelous program and I hope many more people opt to join in. Eleven years ago I planted my own dogwood in my front yard and it is now an absolutely gorgeous tree. I can’t wait for my Japanese Green Vase Zelkova to mature! Your friend, Vicki Tankersley

  2. I think Portland could use more sun. Unfortunately trees do the opposite by blocking the sun. Ever try to grow a tomato under a tree?

  3. Eric- our goal is to have 33% of Portland covered by trees. That leaves 67% of the space to grow tomatoes!

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