Caring for Your Trees
Benefits of Trees
Among the direct economic benefits of trees are lowered energy costs to homeowners-lower air conditioning costs and lower heating costs when trees are planted as windbreaks-and value added from landscaped versus non-landscaped homes (from 5 to 20% value difference). The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Benefits of trees include:
- Trees serve as noise barriers.
- Birds are attracted to the area.
- Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates.
- Rain then washes pollutants to the ground.
- Leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air, as well as other pollutants, ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide.
- They give off oxygen.
- Temperature near trees is cooler than it is away from them.
- Trees moderate the heat effects of pavement/concrete in urban settings.
- Wind speed and direction can be affected by trees.
- Trees reduce stormwater runoff and the possibility of flooding.
- Trees improve air quality, moderate the climate, conserve water, and harbor wildlife.
Arborists Weigh in on Benefits
According to New Jersey certified arborists:
- One mature tree provides enough oxygen for four people.
- A single maple tree with a diameter of 30 centimeters can extract between 5 and 10 grams of heavy metals from the soil each year, which helps decontaminate urban lands.
- A healthy mature tree can absorb between 2.5 and 5.0 kilograms of carbon each year, which slows down climate change, and about 7,000 fine particulates in each liter of air, which decreases the incidence of respiratory diseases.
- Trees protect us against the heat island effect by creating shade and pulling water out of the soil and into the atmosphere; a large oak tree can transpire more than 400 liters of water a day.
Advise for Caring for Trees
The Community Forestry Program of the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection has advice on caring for trees and other topics.
Invasive Species List
Hazards to Your Trees
- Urban-Tolerant Trees - The New Jersey Tree Foundation website includes related articles.
- Landscape plants rated by deer resistance. A comprehensive list, including trees, can be found on this Rutgers University fact sheet. See also the same information on this website, in the "Useful Info" drop-down menu, under the heading "Deer Resistant Plants."
- What are the best trees to plant under utility wires? View a list presents kinds of trees that are suitable for planting under utility wires (PDF). (Source: PSE&G Forestry Resources)
- Tree owner information from the Trees are Good website - The International Society of Arboriculture website presents many tree care topics and directs you to related brochures.