According to the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, trees do more than just create an outdoor living environment that is beautiful, healthy and safe. Trees offer and provide all these benefits and more:
- They lower blood pressure, slow heartbeat, and relax brain wave patterns;
- They provide inviting and cool areas for recreation and relaxation;
- They capture carbon dioxide (CO2), helping reduce the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
- They act as natural air-conditioner, lowering the temperature, especially during summer, from 6 to 8 degrees as compared to neighborhoods without trees;
- They reduce residential heating costs from 10-15 percent and residential air-conditioning costs from 20-50 percent;
- Homes landscaped with healthy trees sell more quickly and add as much as 20 percent to a property’s market value;
- They provide homes for more than 80 species of wildlife, such as birds (woodpeckers, nuthatches, and eagles), and other animals, like salamanders and squirrels.
- A community that is lined with trees increases the value of homes by 25 percent;
- Trees attracting business – people linger and shop longer when trees are present;
- Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and office spaces rent more quickly; workers also become more productive and there is less absenteeism.
- Trees reduce runoff and improve water quality by absorbing and filtering rainwater.
These are some of the reasons why, in landscape architecture designs, one element that is ever present is trees. According to the Hamlin Tree Care, trees are assets and, therefore, worth investing into whether in residential or business areas.
In recognition of the many benefits of trees, a bill, called the Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act, was introduced in the U.S. Congress. This Act hopes to help lower energy usage and utility bills through the targeted planting of residential shade trees. It explicitly cites the benefits of proper tree siting, including storm water management, reduced energy load demand, and carbon sequestration. It would establish a grant program to assist electricity providers in planting shade trees to insulate residential buildings and minimize home heating and cooling demands.