Home - Why Street Trees Matter

Benefits of Trees

Trees are among the largest and most ancient living things on Earth.

Did you know that planting trees can:Resources - inset

  • Decrease crime and improve safety. Studies show a 10% increase in tree canopy is associated with a 12% decrease in crime.
  • Increase property value by 15% or more.
  • Reduce noise and slow traffic in residential neighborhoods.
  • Absorb rainwater, reduce runoff and prevent pollutants from going into creeks and waterways.
  • Provide a habitat for wildlife, including many species critical to our ecosystem such as microorganisms, insects, plants, birds and mammals.
  • Cool the streets and the city, create shade and conserve energy. One young tree can cool as much air as several air conditioners.
  • Fertilize the soil as tree leaves left on the ground are absorbed back into the earth.
  • Improve health, increase physical activity and foster community. People enjoy walking along tree-lined streets and are more likely to be physically active in neighborhoods with a well-developed tree canopy.
  • Increase revenue in shopping districts. A shady, tree-lined street entices consumers to linger, browse and spend.
  • Clean the air by absorbing pollutant gases; combat the greenhouse effect by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide; provide oxygen. 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!

Having a healthy urban forest is especially important in the City of Richmond, where 5.8 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted annually due to pollution from a major oil refinery, commercial shipping port, railroad yards and two interstate highways.

Environmental pollutants contribute to Richmond’s higher than normal incidence of pollution-related health problems, such as asthma, cancer, lupus, immune diseases and allergies. And they also contribute to the greenhouse gas effect, global warming and climate change.

Richmond has been designated an “impacted community” by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. It is recommended that a healthy city have at least a 40% tree canopy –  Richmond’s is estimated to be 10%. We need many more trees – at least four times the number we have now.

To find our more about the amazing benefits of trees, check out our “Street Trees in the News” page.

“We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.” ~ Wangari Maathai