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40 Reasons to Plant a Tree

Tree quote

40 Reasons to Plant a Tree

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson  

Happy Arbor Day! Each April, Cincinnati Parks staff and volunteers celebrate and plant trees across the city.   

This year, Cincinnati Parks also celebrates 40 years of commitment to The Tree City USA program. This program aims to green up cities across America and provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. Since 1981, Cincinnati Parks has planted 65,000 and we are committed to continuing this important work.  

We hope that you will join us in celebrating Arbor Day this year by planting a tree. And to convince you to plant one, we’re giving you FORTY reasons why:  

  1. Trees create Oxygen  
  2. Trees absorb Carbon Dioxide 
  3.  Trees have cooling effects – the evapotranspiration process of trees causes cooling of the air surrounding leaves
  4. Trees create cool heat islands – trees, green roofs, and vegetation can help reduce urban heat island effects by shading building surfaces, deflecting radiation from the sun, and releasing moisture into the atmosphere (EPA)
  5. Trees planted on the west side of a house can reduce energy bills by 3%; and reduce air conditioning needs by 20-30%
  6. Trees add value to property – trees can add 10% to a property’s value (USDA, Forest Service)
  7. Trees help with water retention – a large tree can capture and retain as much as 332 gallons of water (USA, Forest Service)
  8. Trees help with soil retention and slow erosion  – tree root systems help reduce erosion by holding soil in place
  9. Trees soften harsh lines of buildings
  10. Trees clean air pollution –  tree leaves act as filters catching particulates including the especially harmful PM2.5 (2.5 micrometers) fine inhalable particles
  11. Trees are used in lumber construction  
  12. Trees can be used to make sports equipment  
  13. Trees are used to create paper products  
  14. Trees tell the history of weather – also known as dendrochronology, or the scientific discipline concerned with dating and interpreting past events based on the analysis of tree rings (Britannica)
  15. Firewood from trees can be used to heat our homes 
  16. Trees can mark a legacy/celebratory purposes – plant a tree to mark a milestone in life (birth of a child, marriage) 
  17. Trees are a food source for humans – fruits, nuts, seeds, leaves, bark and even sap
  18. Trees reduce wind – trees reduce and dampen the force of wind, especially along open fields and plains. 
  19. Trees provide privacy 
  20. Trees are a sign of changing seasons, such as spring blossoms that signal winter’s end  
  21. Trees provide shade during summer as a respite from the heat 
  22. Trees have amazing fall colors, which beautifies our landscape 
  23. Trees block cold winter winds 
  24. Trees are a food source for wildlife – some include berries, nuts, nectar and even the insects they support that feed other animals
  25. Trees provide habitats for wildlife
  26. Trees may help to reduce crime 
  27. Trees beautify cities
  28. Trees absorb sound and control noise – in urban areas, there’s much more noise, which isn’t only annoying to humans but also negatively impacts wildlife. Foliage of trees has a muffling effect, which decreases noise levels
  29. Trees screen views 
  30. Trees frame views 
  31. Trees are the gift that keeps on giving – a gift to the future 
  32. Trees reduce stress and anxietystudies show that both exercising in forests and simply sitting looking at trees reduce stress
  33.  Trees are a learning opportunity for children, especially in cities/urban areas 
  34.  Trees are beautiful 
  35.  Trees provide jobs 
  36.  Trees prevent light pollution – city lights can disrupt animal habitats and trees help block them   
  37.  Trees mark the seasons 
  38.  Trees help tie a street and neighborhood together 
  39. Trees are nature’s umbrella when you’re stuck in the rain
  40. Old trees bridge the generations bringing young and old together

Make this an unforgettable Arbor Day by planting a tree that future generations will see, enjoy and benefit from.