Facts About Trees #1
From Dan Burden’s Guide to Walkable Communities:
” For a planting cost of $250-600 (including the first 3 years of maintenance) a single street tree returns over $90,000 of direct benefits.”
Trees lined streets may actually reduce the number of accidents. An experimental study conducted along several roadways found that accident rates were reduced between 5 and 20 percent after the addition of trees and planters. One reason may be that drivers drive more slowly along tree lined streets. This is because of our unconscious desire to look at our surroundings especially when they are engaging and pleasant to look such as a tree lined street with people and shops. Trees and planters also provide an excellent barrier between the road and the sidewalk, creating a separate and safer walkable space.
Trees improve business. Businesses along walkable tree lined streets showed an average of 12% higher income.
Trees absorb the first 30% of a storm reducing water runoff and thus local water pollution.
The temperature under a tree is 5-15 degrees cooler than the ambient air temperature.
Poor urban communities have rates of asthma significantly higher than national rates. In New York City, asthma was the number one cause of admission to hospitals for children under 15. A study conducted at Columbia University found that tree lined streets had lower incidences of asthma. The effect is still unclear and requires more study.
New York has plans to plant 1 million trees by the year 2017. So far over 98,000 have been planted.