Saturday, November 3, 2018

Benefits of Trees

Trees add instant value to the home, save energy with shade in the summer and windbreaks in the winter, provide food and shelter for wildlife and so much more. Recently, while researching some material for a talk to The Kent Island Garden Club, I was able to spend some time looking into all that trees provide.

"The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day." USDA

"A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000." Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers

"The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the groundwater supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams." USDA Forest Service

As important, how do trees make us feel? A summer's day on a tire swing beneath the shade evokes days gone by. Just relaxing in the woods has now been identified as shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. Leave devices behind, wander into the trees, and hours later, breathing, seeing and feeling becomes easier.

A Chinese proverb states "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

Franklin D Roosevelt cautioned us years ago when he said "A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people."

"Trees exhale for us that we may inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish", said Munia Khan.

This fall, as we enjoy the annual autumn showing of colorful leaves and the changing tree landscape, let us appreciate trees more, and maybe even add a few to keep our land and ourselves healthy.