My time spent growing up in San Diego in the 1960s and 70s was pretty close to perfect. There were always a gang of guys around for fun and adventure and the canyon behind my home provided the perfect giant trees for climbing, fort-building and tire-swinging. The canyon’s trees acted as sturdy protectors of my childhood and I never dreamed that someday those same trees might be endangered.
Trees provide a multitude of benefits. Things you would never even think about. Did you know trees can help reduce violence? Neighborhoods and homes that lack trees have a higher rate of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help reduce the level of fear.
Trees also increase property value. The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15 percent.
But wait, there’s more.
- Trees Heal. Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.
- Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Trees help reduce the UVB exposure by 50%, providing protection to children on school campuses and playgrounds where children spend hours outdoors.
- Trees save water. Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only 15 gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.
- Trees increase business traffic. Studies show the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow-in. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic enough to allow drivers to look at storefronts instead of whizzing by.
Luckily, there are some urban forestry advocates who are stepping up to the plate to both preserve and increase our tree population. Tree San Diego is dedicated to preserving the county’s rapidly declining tree population and encouraging more tree planting and care. This group will provide steward workshops on how to identify trees, pick the right tree for the right location and how to plant and water a newly transplanted tree.
Tree San Diego’s next stewarding workshop is on March 23, 2014 from 8:30 am. to 3 p.m. at the San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. The cost is $25 and advance registration is required at Eventbrite (search for “tree steward training”).
I encourage you to attend their workshop and support local efforts to ensure that healthy trees will be around for our kids and future generations to enjoy. Look around your home and neighborhood. Could it use a tree…or two?
**Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings is hiring! Please visit our website at www.goodearthplants.com for additional information and to apply**