benefits of landscape architecture with trees

Benefits of Landscape Architecture with Trees: Why We Should Restore Canopies After Hurricanes

November 5, 2021 4:34 pm  | Published by

In 2021, we have experienced the third most active hurricane season on record. As so many places have been impacted by these intense storms in the past year, the conversation surrounding the importance of tree canopies has resurfaced. (Although, it’s always one we here at Jerry Pate Design enjoy talking about!) Today, we’re going to share a few benefits of landscape architecture with trees to show why we should restore canopies after hurricanes. 

Benefits Of Trees: They Protect the Planet

trees are good for the planet

We all hear a lot of talk about climate change floating around, but it can be difficult to get a clear answer on what really causes it. But here’s one insight Climate.gov has shared: “Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth’s temperature to rise.” 

That means that if we can work toward reducing carbon dioxide, we can begin to restore and protect our environment. Given our understanding of this aspect of the problem and its seemingly large impact, carbon dioxide is a great place to start in the fight against climate change. And trees can help us! 

While reducing our man-made emissions is a noble goal that we should continue innovating toward, trees are our age-old allies in this mission. They remove carbon dioxide from the air naturally, storing it before releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. According to Tree People, “In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.” Talk about wow!  

And that’s not all trees do for their home. They also absorb odors and pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and ozone. Trees can reduce air-conditioning needs in warmer residential areas. Their shade slows water evaporation and they create atmospheric moisture over time. The list truly goes on and on! 

Health Benefits Of Trees – Keeps People Well

beautiful landscapes with trees

So, when you create landscape architecture with trees, you are making impressive strides toward a positive environmental impact. But did you also know that you’ll be improving the lives and health of everyone who encounters the beautiful outdoor place you’ve made?  

One could affectionately call trees the guardians of humans, given their incredible benefits to our mental and physical well-being. 

For starters, trees reduce the heat island effect, which continues to be a problem in ever-growing urban areas. Trees are, once again, the natural solution! 

See what the EPA has to say: “Trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. Shaded surfaces, for example, may be 20 to 45 °F cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials.” 

Trees also prevent UVB from getting to us, which could be a boon against skin cancer. They yield delicious, healthful foods in orchards around the world, which also creates economic opportunities for those tending to and harvesting from them. They even slow runoff, which reduces soil erosion—a concern for farmers and adjacent communities alike.  

On top of all those benefits, trees have proven to improve our mental health and emotional well-being, too.

In an article titled Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said, “Spending time around trees and looking at trees reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves mood. Numerous studies show that both exercising in forests and simply sitting looking at trees reduce blood pressure as well as the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline.” That article also mentions that trees have proven to increase the ability to focus, even in children with ADHD.  

Exposure to trees has also improved recovery time and outcomes for patients in the hospital. Clearly, the benefits of landscape architecture with trees are significant.  

And we aren’t finished! 

Benefit #3: Trees Please the Eye and Create Value

landscape architecture with trees improves profits

In many places, trees are a beautiful marker of the seasons. They tell the story of spring, summer, winter, and fall. But even in warm climates where the leaves might not change and die, they create a sense of lushness that makes a place feel elegant and comfortable. Their loveliness is undeniable, and it can be used to your advantage in landscape architecture. 

Do you need to hide an unsightly view, like a parking lot or concrete wall? Trees could help you do it! Perhaps this is why property values increase by as much as 15% when they are surrounded by trees. 

That isn’t the only way landscape architecture with trees can create value. Green Cities: Good Health, an initiative of University of Washington and other organizations, noted that, 

“Shoppers claim that they will spend 9% to 12% more for goods and services in central business districts having high quality tree canopy.” 

 

We think you’ll agree: The benefits of landscape architecture with trees are immense. They aid the planet, improve our health, and make our open-air places all the more enjoyable! 

For all of the reasons we’ve discussed today, it is so important to restore canopies after hurricanes. If you’d like to learn more about just how that can be done (and who could do it), send us an email to express your interest in a blog post all about it, at sdana@jerrypatedesign.com. To explore our tree-filled projects, visit our projects page

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This post was written by Steve Dana

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