“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
The social, aesthetic, and environmental benefits of trees are numerous.
- They manufacture oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.
- They provide shade in summer and windbreak in winter.
- The beauty and serenity of trees have been shown to help hospital patients recover more quickly.
- Trees reduce crime in low-income urban areas.
- Trees increase property values.
- Trees help us save energy.
- Trees improve air quality.
- Trees conserve water.
- Trees provide homes to wildlife.
- Trees provide a beautiful backdrop to outdoor recreational activities.
- Large and majestic trees are an important part of the community.
According to American Forests, the national urban tree deficit now stands at more than 634 million trees. Alarmingly, up to 57% of all Amazonian trees, the planet’s lungs, may already fit the criteria of being globally threatened. Unprecedented environmental stresses – warmer temperatures, changes in precipitation, increased droughts – and global trade are making trees more susceptible to insect infestation and disease and therefore more difficult to grow and flourish in today’s world.
Because trees sequester carbon and offset our carbon footprint, the amount of energy a person consumes in their day-to-day activities, it is more important than ever to plant trees. The average person produces 26 tons of CO2 per year. 6 twenty-five year old pine trees absorb 1 ton of CO2. 36 twenty-five year old maple trees absorb 1 ton of CO2.
Planting trees is a way to give back to the environment for future generations and to offset our carbon footprint. Spring is the perfect time to plant. Plant a tree for a new grandchild, in memory of a parent or a beloved pet, or to honor a special anniversary. If you have no place to plant a tree, americanforests.org will plant a tree in your name with a small donation. Makes a great gift too!
For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.