Are Trees Are the Rodney Dangerfields of Climate Change?

I don’t know about the rest of you but I have some truly spectacular colour in the trees off my back porch at the moment. But are they TOO pretty to be taken seriously? 

Here’s a few things I learned while Chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee of Council, and why I believe the County’s Tree Policy must be turned into a Bylaw with Teeth:

Trees Clean Our Air

  • removing greenhouse gas emissions – 1/3rd of global emissions according to US Forest Service
  • help our health by removing pollutants from the air
  • roadside trees reduce nearby INDOOR air pollution by more than 50%, Lancaster University UK

Trees Provide Oxygen

  • one large tree can provide daily oxygen needs for 4 people – University of North Carolina State

Trees Provide Cooling

  • lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade
  • shaded surfaces may be 20-45% cooler than peak temperatures of unshaded – US EPA
  • release water vapour into the air through their leaves

Trees save on energy costs

  • properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by up to 30% – US Forest Service

Trees Protect Our Drinking Water

  • act as filters for stormwater runoff
  • In 1997 New York City spent $1.5 billion to preserve the forested watershed that supplies New York City’s drinking water by purchasing thousands of acres of upstate watershed.  The cost of a new filtration plant would have been $6 billion – Ecosystem Marketplace2006

Trees Benefit Biodiversity

BC’s Ministry of Environment found trees protected 80 separate species

Trees Prevent Soil Erosion

Trees Save Taxpayer Money
TD Economics Department estimated that for every $1 spent by Toronto on tree maintenance, taxpayers gained $1.35 to 3.20 in value.

Trees Increase Property Values – numerous studies

Picton Main Street is becoming a Heat Island.  The lack of shade a deterrent to browsing.

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