Our City Services

Why Trees Matter

You are here

Why Trees Matter

We can all agree that trees are beautiful, but did you know planting trees will also increase your property value?  Well they do that--and much more.  Have you ever taken a walk in the woods?  Did you notice how much more relaxed you felt?  Well, you can get that same peaceful feeling right on your street--if your street has street trees.  Trees also slow traffic speed, reduce crime, increase business traffic in stores and improve our water and air quality.  Pretty cool!  For more benefits of trees, read on!

Father and Son Planting a Tree

Trees improve health, increase physical activity, & foster community. 

People enjoy walking much more if  their street has trees.  And, if you walk more, you are more likely to be healthy--and live longer.  Most amazing--trees improve your health, just by looking at them.  That's right!  In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees--a fancy way to say, "looking at trees"-- has produced significant recovery from stress --within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.  Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University

Trees increase property values. 

The presence of larger trees in yards and as street trees can add from 3% to 15% to home values throughout neighborhoods.  (Wolf, K.L. 2007 (August).  City Trees and Property Values.  Arborist News 16, 4:34-36.)


Trees increase revenue in shopping districts. 

A shady, tree-lined street entices consumers to linger, browse, and spend.  Shoppers claim that they will spend 9% to 12% more for goods and services in central business districts having high quality tree canopy.  And, shoppers indicate that they will travel greater distance and a longer time to visit a district having high quality trees, and spend more time there once they arrive.  (Wolf, K.L. 2005.  Business District Streetscapes, Trees and Consumer Response.  Journal of Forestry 103, 8:396-400.)


Trees reduce noise.

Noise is reduced because sound waves are blocked, and this creates a more peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.  A properly-designed buffer of trees and shrubs can reduce noise by about five to ten decibels—or about 50 percent as perceived by the human ear, according to the USDA National Agroforestry Center.  Read more


Trees slow down traffic.

Engineering reports show that tree-lined streets effectively slow vehicles, establishing safer neighborhoods for pedestrians and cyclists.  Read more


Trees decrease crime and improve safety. 

Studies show a 10% increase in tree canopy is associated with a 12% decrease in crime.  Read more


Trees absorb rainwater, reduce runoff.

This prevents pollutants from entering creeks and waterways which lead to the Salinas River and / or the Monterey Bay.  Trees -- especially large canopy trees -- can absorb an enormous amount of rainwater and hold it on their leaves, allowing it to trickle slowly into the ground over time.  A canopy of big trees can cover streets and rooftops, even in densely developed areas like traditional towns.  One large canopy tree can absorb 1,000 gallons of rainwater over the course of an average year.  And trees planted along streams and rivers can prevent rainwater, soil, and pollutants from being washed into waterways.  The Center for Urban Forest Research


Trees provide habitat for wildlife. 

Many species critical to our ecosystem depend on trees, such as small mammals and birds, but also other plants, insects, and microorganisms.


Trees create shade and conserve energy. 

The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.  U.S. Department of Agriculture


Trees fertilize the soil. 

Leaves deposited on the ground are distributed and incorporated back into the earth.


Trees clean the air. 

Just one tree can filter 730 pounds of pollutants, absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide, and release enough oxygen into the atmosphere to support two human beings for an entire year!  Read more