We live in an era influenced by humans to the point that the Earth’s systems are now altered. In addition, a majority of the world’s population live in cities. An effective strategy to assist in improving people’s lives is to plant and protect trees, especially in cities where the majority of people live. As a way to encourage tree advocates, a critical review was written on the benefits of trees.
Trees promote health and social well‐being by removing air pollution, reducing stress, encouraging physical activity, and promoting social ties and community. Children with views of trees are more likely to succeed in school. Trees promote a strong economy and can provide numerous resources to the people who need them.
Cities are getting hotter, and trees can reduce urban temperatures. They provide habitat and food for animals. Finally, trees are valuable green infrastructure to manage stormwater. Money spent on urban forestry has a high return on investment.
As we navigate this human‐dominated era, we need skilled people who understand the nuances of the built environment and trees as we strategically plan the cities of the future. The overwhelming evidence from the scientific literature suggests that investing in trees is an investment in a better world.
- Literature review on the scientific benefit of trees, published in “Plants, People, Planet”: https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ppp3.39
- Scientific poster at “Plants, People, Planet 2019″—an international interdisciplinary scientific conference (Recipient of the Best Poster award): https://www.newphytologist.org/app/webroot/img/upload/files/PPP_winning_poster_TurnerSkoff.pdf
- Radio interview on WBEZ Worldview Chicago: https://www.wbez.org/shows/worldview/trees-are-helping-us-achieve-un-sustainability-goals/83472207-69fb-48ca-a00f-6dfdfbccc40d
- Oral presentation at “Plants, People, Planet 2019″—an international interdisciplinary scientific conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Y20jueoq0ls
- Podcast interview “In Defense of Plants”: http://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/2019/8/18/ep-226-cities-need-trees
- Downloadable brochure: Understanding the Value of Trees