Urban Forests: Environmental Benefits

Environmental Benefits of Urban Trees
Shade is one of many environmental benefits trees provide.

Urban forests are made up of the trees that exist in urban or suburban landscapes. An urban forest is comprised of trees in many settings – in residential and commercial landscapes, along streets and other rights-of-way, and in parks, greenways and set-aside natural areas.  Urban forests have great environmental, economic and social value.

Urban forests can moderate the impacts of urban air pollutants.  Trees remove particulates, sulfur dioxide, ozone and other

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Trees provide more than just beauty or a source of wood products. Rather, trees provide an assortment of economic, environmental, psychological and social benefits to humans. Energy savings are one such highly valued benefit or service urban trees provide. Did you know that just 17% shade on a building from trees for example can reduce power bills by $10/ month or that urban trees can lower surrounding temperatures by as much as 20° F?  Alternatively, trees can reduce winter heating …

Tree Planting for Lower Power Bills

Whether it is winter or summer, trees can help you save energy at home.   

Shade for Savings  

Did you know that only 17% shade over your house during the day translates to a savings of 10 dollars a month on your power bill? Additionally, increasing that same shade to 50% will decrease your power bill by an additional $20 per month.  For those without trees, it takes time to plant a tree and generate this shade.  However one study estimates …

How do trees and other vegetation affect urban mesoclimates and microclimates?

Vegetation affects urban mesoclimate and microclimate by intercepting solar radiation, directing air movement, and affecting air temperature.  Microclimate, mesoclimate and macroclimate can be used to describe the climate of a given location. Macroclimate covers hundreds of square miles and parameters such as precipitation levels, temperatures and winds. Mesoclimate covers areas of tens of square miles and describes how conditions vary from the prevailing macroclimate due to the effects of water bodies, topographic features (terrain), and other landscape influences. A microclimate …