Why Trees Are the Key to a Better Landscape

tree importanceLandscape design tend to focus on grasses, edible plants, and flowers to attract pollinators, with trees being almost forgotten. The truth is that trees are an integral part of any landscape and may even be the most important aspect of a design. Trees provide social, environmental, economical, and communal benefits in any landscape, but consumers often aren’t aware of these advantages. Here are a few facts about trees that you can share with customers when they are making decisions about landscaping.

They Keep Water Clean

We all know that trees provide oxygen and absorb CO2 (an acre of trees will absorb about as much CO2 as you produce driving 25,000 miles), but did you know that they protect water supplies? Trees can help to reduce runoff by breaking rainfall. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants into water supplies. If you mulch the tree, the whole structure acts like a giant sponge to suck up water and filter it before releasing it into water supplies. One hundred mature trees can eliminate up to 100,000 gallons of runoff after rainfall.

Healing Powers

Research indicates that hospital patients with views of trees actually heal faster and have fewer complications than those who have no trees outside their windows. Children with ADHD have been shown to have better concentration when they are exposed to trees. In fact, we can all get a mental boost from trees, which can help to reduce cognitive fatigue, slash stress, and create feelings of well-being.

Gathering Places

Trees are a great place to get together with people who don’t know. Their inviting shade and calming presence often draws people to them and that provides an opportunity for developing community relationships and boosting social ties. The act of planting trees is also a great way to bring a community together and engender some municipal concern.

Landmarks and Unity

Trees can serve as landmarks and provide an entire community with a symbol of unity. They are often planted to commemorate events and individuals, making them ideal markers for significant occasions. Their fall colors, winter greenness, and vibrant fruits can also add spiritual and personal value to any landscape.

Temperature Control

Trees can reduce the urban heat island effect through evaporative cooling and by blocking the amount of direct sunlight reaching absorptive surfaces like sidewalks and parking lots. They also reduce ozone levels.

Increasing Business Traffic

Studies indicate that trees and landscaping can improve business by slowing traffic, encouraging drivers to look around them, and providing an inviting aesthetic. People love to park under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day, which is just one reason why businesses with trees can pull customers away from competitors.

Social Bedrock

Trees evoke in us a sense of being part of something larger than ourselves. They promote feelings of community, boost pride, and give us a sense of well-being. We often take trees for granted, but they should be the focal point of our landscapes and something we make a conscious effort to consider.