Trees and their benefits...
Have you ever paused to admire a flowering cherry in the spring, or the brilliant hues of a quaking aspen or bigleaf maple in the fall? We may not stop to appreciate trees very often, but maybe we should, because the trees in our communities provide us with many more benefits than simple aesthetics.
For starters, did you know trees can reduce your energy bill? Deciduous trees planted on the south, west and east aspects of a lot can create welcome shade, reducing air-conditioning costs during the hottest months of summer.
Air pollution control is another way trees help improve livability in our urban environments. Trees are fairly effective at removing both solid and gaseous particulates from the air.
Trees also reduce storm water runoff costs by intercepting, using, and storing rainfall. Progressive local governments are increasingly looking toward non-built storm water management strategies like trees, to reduce the costs of constructing storm water control infrastructure.
Aided by ODF’s Urban and Community Forests program staff, many of Oregon’s Tree City USA-certified cities are helping the public learn and understand more about trees and their benefits by displaying “Tree tags” that resemble price tags, but tout the many benefits of healthy trees. Whether you arrived at this page by computer or by the QR code on your smart phone, here’s a little information about the terminology on the tree tags, and a link to the Tree Benefits Calculator.
A couple of terms, and their definitions:
Stormwater - water that originates from rain and snow melt, and runs off surfaces like rooftops, paved streets, roads and parking lots. Trees affect stormwater, guarding against runoff and filtering and purifying water; a typical medium-sized tree can intercept 2,000 gallons of rainfall per year, saving money in stormwater treatment costs.
Kilowatt hours – A kilowatt hour is a unit of energy equal to 1,000 watt hours. The kilowatt hour is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities. Example: A heater rated at 1000 watts (2 kilowatt) operating for one hour uses one kilowatt hour of energy.
National Tree Benefits Calculator