The Case For Street Trees
Street trees confer lots of benefits on both the environment and the community.
- Improved Street Aesthetics
Trees have a powerful impact on people’s perception of a street; streets without trees tend to look very ‘hard’, whereas trees have a softening effect on all of these hard edges. They also screen other necessary pieces of street furniture such as telegraph poles and parking signs.
- Pollution Control
Trees catch particulate matter on their leaves and remove these from the air. Pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur and Ammonia are all reduced in this way.
- Control Speed of Motorists
Tree lined streets are perceived by motorists to be narrower, resulting in lower speeds.
- Reduce Road Noise
Trees act as a buffer between houses and the road and will absorb a certain amount of noise from the street.
- Cool Street Temperatures
Trees provide shade in the summer and they also humidify the air, thereby reducing the local temperature.
- Reduce Wind Speeds
Street trees act as a buffer for strong winds and reduce air turbulence around buildings.
- Provide a Habitat for Wildlife
Trees provide a habitat for a wide range of wildlife such as birds and insects.
- Improve Safety
The presence of trees brings about an increase in pride and ownership of shared spaces from residents, thereby deterring crime and creating a safer neighbourhood.
- Absorb CO2
As they grow trees absorb Carbon Dioxide from the air and lock it away as Carbon.
- Increase Local Property Values
Street trees add character to a street and studies have shown that the presence of street trees can increase local property prices by up to 15%.
- Decrease Stress
Trees have a calming effect on people and it has been shown that being in an environment containing trees will reduce a person’s blood pressure.
What about the Risks?
There are a number of risks and concerns that people may have about street trees, for example the risk of damage to the pavement and neighbouring buildings or the nuisance of fallen leaves and blossom, however if the trees are carefully selected and well managed all of these risks can be successfully mitigated.
Hopefully after reading all of the benefits you’ve been convinced that we should plant more street trees in Catford.
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