Why do we want more street trees?

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.

Next Steps

Hopefully after reading all of the benefits you’ve been convinced that we should plant more street trees in Catford.

Please leave a comment on our Comments page to show your support or add your email address to our mailing list to be kept up to date with the campaign.

You can also read more about the campaign by following the links at the top of the page.

Further Reading

Catford Street Trees Campaign Plan

Forestry Commission – The case for trees
RE:LEAF – Trees for a greener London
22 Benefits of Urban Street Trees
streettree.org – Benefits of Trees

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