Tree Advisory Group
To encourage a tree friendly community through the education of citizens and organizations by promoting best management practices for tree establishment, care and management.
The Tree Advisory Group recognizes that trees provide aesthetic, economic, environmental and social value to the community. As a gateway to natural forestry and outdoor recreation in Missouri the city is the first example of what healthy trees should be. Trees provide a bounty of benefits for both public and private individuals which can be estimated by the National Tree Benefit Calculator at http://www.treebenefits.com/calculator/
Value of Trees (PDF) Right Tree, Right Place (PDF) Improper Tree Care (PDF)
Benefits of healthy trees include
To help slow or stop erosion, tree and ground-cover plantings can hold soil in place.
Reduce utility costs
The major savings on well-placed trees is in reduced cooling costs. Well-placed trees shading a home can reduce energy costs by nearly 12 percent. This means that for an average home, a $150 tree would pay for itself in about three to four months.
A white poplar with a 30 inch diameter would conserve 123 kilowatt/ hours of electricity and therefore reduce the consumption of oil or natural gas.
Increase property values
Trees contribute to the positive image of a community and are viewed as a factor in the quality of life of a city. They provide harmony with nature and create livable built environments.
Protecting trees also reduces developers’ costs for storm water detention and landscaping.1
The perceived value of a home increases by at least 5% when large sized plants (trees) are added. 2
62% of realtors surveyed said the existence of healthy shade trees strongly influences a potential buyers’ impression of a block or neighborhood. 3
Large street trees can reduce crime by signaling to a potential criminal that a neighborhood is better cared for and, therefore, a criminal is more likely to be caught.4
Reduce noise levels
They make communities more livable by reducing the distortions of height and space created by tall buildings; they form a protective and psychological barrier between pedestrians and car traffic; they contribute to the unique identity of the community.7
Trees can muffle sound, making an area behind a tree buffer more comfortable than one exposed directly to street sounds.
Improve air and water quality
Trees remove carbon dioxide and other pollutant gases from the air, and release oxygen, which further dilutes pollution. Their role in reducing temperatures reduces the formation of smog.
Local Governments for Sustainability, along with the City of Seattle, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognize urban tree planting and preservation as a key action and tool for climate protection.9
Reduce storm water run-off
Trees absorb the first 30% of most precipitation through their leaf systems and up to another 30% of precipitation is absorbed into the ground and captured by the roots, which brings it back into the air through transpiration.6 This prevents carrying pollutants into surface water bodies, prevents the washing away of soil, and allows water to percolate into the soil, increasing its productivity.1 Thus, trees and vegetation are effective and efficient methods for meeting the U.S. EPA’s standards for water quality from nonpoint sources such as streets, parking lots, and storm sewers.
A white poplar with a 30 inch diameter would intercept 7,656 gallons of storm water runoff per year.12
Provide habitat for wildlife
Urban trees can provide habitat for nesting migratory birds, a variety of mammals, insects, and other wildlife.
Trees have the ability to reduce the heat that radiates off concrete and blacktop. Those who step outside barefoot quickly appreciate shaded spots on the concrete or blacktop.
Trees can reduce heating costs by blocking the wind. Proper placement of a tree can maximize heat absorption in a home from the winter sun and still provide shade to that same home in the summer.
Trees can reduce the temperature of urban areas by seven or more degrees.7 They similarly shelter structures from the wind and contribute to moderating temperatures in the winter. Even planting three trees near a house can have significant impacts on the costs of energy for temperature control.8 Thus, urban trees result in a reduction in energy bills, and contribute to affordable housing. This moderation effect of urban trees is increasingly being recognized as important in light of predicted climate change.7
They remove airborne particles by trapping them and by increasing humidity, which washes particles out of the air.1
A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings.10
Trees take in and convert carbon dioxide to oxygen which is then released back into the atmosphere for use by animals and humans alike.
On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.11
Enhance business and economic development
The value of an urban street tree has been calculated to be a return of $90,000 in direct benefits in the lifetime of the tree.6
Shade encourages more commerce, which supports local business and increases the tax revenues for the community. Businesses on treed streets have been found to have 20% higher income streams than those without trees.6
A carbon sink is a reservoir that accumulates and stores carbon for an indefinite period of time. Trees are carbon sinks. If just 10 percent more of a cities land mass were planted with trees, the city's carbon storage would leap by 12 per cent.5