Mitigate Climate Change by Reducing the Heat Island Effect
"Urban heat islands" occur when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat. This effect increases energy costs and is associated with heat-related illness. Trees cool the city by shading homes and streets, releasing water vapor into the air, and breaking up urban “heat islands”.
Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.
Reduce Air Pollution
Trees absorb pollutant gasses (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
Improve Air and Water Quality
Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall. Leaves and branches slow the rain, allowing additional time for more water to be absorbed into the earth below the tree. Increased absorption into the soil reduces the amount of stormwater (that can carry pollutants) that enters our pipes and eventually the river. Trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies.
Shade from trees slows water evaporation. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.
Soil Stability and Flood Mitigation
On hillsides or ravine slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place. Their leaf canopies help reduce erosion caused by falling rain and their roots take up water and help create conditions in the soil that promote infiltration.