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Benefits of Trees

Trees provide many environmental services that improve the air, water and land around us. Find out how the County can financially support your tree planting efforts through a RainScape Rebate.

 

Tree Benefits for our Homes

Just a brief visit to any neighborhood filled with trees shows us the impact trees have on our sense of well-being. Trees improve our homes in many ways:

Image of Nordman Fir

  • Trees Mean Green: Trees add as much as 20% to the value of our property. They have intrinsic value, too. Whether its fall color, spring flowers, or summer fruits, trees bring beauty to the landscape. By planting trees, we plant great places to live and relax.

  • Shade to Save: Trees planted west or southwest of our homes and offices shade our rooftops, outside walls, and windows when the sunlight is brightest and hottest. This helps us save energy and lower our utility bills. Reduced home energy consumption also cleans our air through lower emissions from power plants.

 

  • Trees are Great Umbrellas: Trees help clean and cool water, and intercept rainwater, reducing the amount of water that runs off buildings, concrete and roads. Trees help control stormwater runoff — a major source of pollution in urban areas. Have a soggy spot in your yard? Plant a tree! Trees are a great part of a Rainscape .

  • Natural Sounds, not Neighborhood Sounds: Our trees reduce the noise we perceive at home— so enjoy the sights and sounds of trees nearby.

 

Image of a tree shading a house.

Tree Benefits for our Community

  • Trees & Crime: Green neighborhoods with lots of trees have lower crime rates than barren, concrete environments. There are fewer acts of aggression by people, including drivers, and there are fewer cases of domestic abuse on streets lined with trees. Trees foster safer, more sociable neighborhoods.

  • Trees and Children: Children who have parks and trees to play around concentrate better. Studies show that the effects of AD/HD are lessened when trees are in sight. When there is a view of greenery out of their windows, studies of school-aged kids indicate that they have better self-discipline. So plant trees for our children (and grandchildren)!

  • Trees and Neighborhoods: When neighborhoods are full of trees residents spend more time outside mingling with neighbors and building personal ties, stronger communities, and a greater sense of well being.

For more information on the research mentioned here, visit the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Landscape and Human Health Laboratory.

 

Tree Benefits for our Businesses

  • Shoppers are attracted to and linger longer on tree-lined streets — that means more sales and profits.

  • Shoppers prefer and patronize shops with greener parking lots. Office and industrial space in wooded settings are more in demand and more valuable to sell or rent.

 

Image of a tree recently planted alongside Lower Booze Creek
During the restoration of Booze Creek, trees were planted along the streamside to help stop erosion and absorb stormwater runoff.

Tree Benefits for Our Environment

  • Trees clean and cool our air. They remove common pollutants.

  • Trees clean and cool our water.

  • Trees reduce stormwater runoff and soil erosion.

  • Trees reduce negative effects from greenhouse gases.

  • Trees lessen the urban ‘heat island effect’.

  • Trees sequester and store carbon.

  • Trees save energy.

  • Trees support wildlife and increase plant diversity.

  • Trees provide food and shelter for birds and many forms of wildlife.

  • Trees and forests support diverse plant communities.

  • Streams need trees - trees shade streams keeping water cooler which is important for fish and aquatic insects to be able to survive. Trees also clean the water and fallen leaves provide food and shelter for critters living in streams. 

 

Trees and Air

Trees are the answer to many issues we face in the Washington, DC area including air pollution and climate change. Trees do more than give us oxygen to breathe — they clean pollutants from the air, catch dust, and give us cool the breezes we enjoy on warm days. Plant more trees to foster healthy places to live, work, and play. 

 

Image of Floras Oak

Trees and Climate Change

Trees do more for you than you can imagine. Trees do a thankless job of shading and cooling our homes, offices, streets, and cars. Shade keeps temperatures lower. Lower temperatures mean less pollution from our cars and power plants and fewer greenhouse gases. Trees also naturally store carbon dioxide as they grow — so plant trees to offset your carbon footprint. 

 

Trees and Code Enforcement

Dumping leaves and yard waste is illegal. Learn about easy ways to dispose of yard trim.  Did you know that leaves collected in Montgomery County are processed locally into a best-selling mulch?

 

Trees and Energy

You know that a big tree shading your house or office makes it cooler inside; or, that a row of evergreen trees blocks blustery winter winds. But did you know that planting trees on the west and southwest sides of buildings saves you electricity and lowers your utility bills?  Even trees that shade our streets, patios, and parking lots help save you energy by keeping the air around you cooler.  So plant trees, and keep your cool. 

 

Trees and Trash and Recycling

Just because your tree has to come down doesn’t mean it is good for nothing but woodchips. Depending on the tree size, species and how it is removed, the wood should be re-used for a new purpose such as art and furniture. Think outside the chipper! 

Have a tree and looking for a sawmill owner to process it? Try looking for a portable sawmill owner or a participant in an urban wood recovery project. If the best use of your tree really is wood chips, find out about local disposal here. Don’t forget to replace your old tree by planting a new one.

 

Trees and Watersheds

Trees save us money by absorbing stormwater that would otherwise cost taxpayers millions to carry away in pipes. All the trees in your neighborhood form a canopy that acts like a sponge, at your service day and night. By planting trees in your yard you can shade your home and add to the tree canopy of your community, while controlling stormwater that can wash dirt and pollution into our streams.