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 vs. non-landscaped homes (from 5-20% 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.
According to NJ certified arborists:
- One mature tree provides enough oxygen for four people.
- A single maple tree with a diameter of 30 cm 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 kg 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.
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.
Best Management Practices
Right Tree, Right Place (PDF)
Caring for Trees
The Community Forestry Program of the NJ State Dept. of Environmental Protection has advice on caring for trees and other topics.
Brochure on tree decay (PDF)
Native Shade Trees - NJ
Question: I want to plant a tree in my Princeton yard. I hear native (not imported) trees perform the best. What are the names of some native trees that grow well in our New Jersey climate?
Answer: Take this list of recommended native trees with you to the tree nursery.
Invasive Species List
Resolution 16-364 recommending invasive species do not plant list. Princeton Environmental Commission also released a Do Not Plant list that can be helpful.
Hazards to Your Trees
Bacterial Leaf Scorch in Oaks
Deer Resistant Plants
Urban-tolerant trees. This link to 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? This list presents kinds of trees that are suitable for planting under utility wires. (Source: PSE&G Forestry Resources)
Tree owner information. This link to the International Society of Arboriculture website presents many tree care topics and directs you to related brochures.