US cities are losing 36 million trees a year. Here’s why it matters and how you can stop it

US cities are losing 36 million trees a year. Here’s why it matters and how you can stop it

If you’re seeking for a reason to be concerned about tree loss, this summer’s record-breaking heat may be it. According to a recent research, trees can reduce summer midday temperatures by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, urban tree cover in the United States is declining. According to a report published last year by the US Forest Service, we lost 36 million trees yearly from urban and rural areas during a five-year period.

Over a five-year span, rural villages were studied. From 2009 to 2014, there was a 1% decrease.
If we continue on this road, “cities will get warmer, more polluting, and overall more unpleasant for occupants,” according to David Nowak, a senior US Forest Service scientist and study co-author.
According to Nowak, there are several explanations for our dwindling forest canopy, including storms.

Tornadoes, wildfires, insects, and illness are all possibilities. However, the one cause of tree loss that people can control is prudent development.
What is the most effective approach to combat climate change? 1 trillion trees should be planted
What is the most effective approach to combat climate change? 1 trillion trees should be planted
“We observe the tree cover being replaced with impermeable cover, which implies that when we look at the images, what was there is no longer there.”

According to Nowak, more than 80% of the US population lives in cities, and the majority of Americans reside in wooded areas along the East and West coasts.
“Every time we create a road, or put up a structure, or chop or add a tree, it impacts not only that location, but the entire region.”
The study assigned a monetary value to tree loss based on the trees’ function in reducing air pollution and conserving energy.

The annual loss of value was $96 million.
Nowak cites ten societal advantages provided by trees:
Heat reduction: Trees shade houses, business buildings, parks, and streets, lowering surface temperatures. They also absorb and dissipate water, which cools the air surrounding them. “On a hot day, simply stroll under the shade of a tree. That isn’t something you can get from grass “Nowak stated. To obtain the whole temperature

According to a recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the earth has cooled. The authors noted, “A single city block would need to be nearly half-covered by a lush green network of branches and leaves.”
Trees absorb carbon and remove pollutants from the atmosphere, reducing air pollution.
Reduced energy expenses: Trees save $4 billion in energy expenses each year, according to

Nowak’s research “The shade provided by the plants on buildings reduces your air conditioning bills. Remove those trees, and your buildings will heat up, you will need more air conditioning, and you will burn more fuel from power plants, increasing pollution and emissions.”
Enhancement of water quality: Trees operate as water filters, taking in polluted surface water and absorbing nitrogen.

Flooding is reduced by trees because they absorb water and prevent overflow into streams.
Noise reduction: Trees have the ability to deflect sound, which is why you’ll see them alongside highways, along fences, and between roads and communities. They can also provide sound via chirping birds and blowing wind through leaves, both of which have been proved to have psychological advantages.

UV radiation protection: According to Nowak, trees absorb 96 percent of ultraviolet energy.
Aesthetic improvements: Ask any real estate agent, architect, or city planner: Trees and leaf cover enhance the appearance and value of any property.
Human health has improved as a result of exposure to nature, according to several research.as well as improved mental and physical wellbeing As a consequence of these research, some hospitals have introduced tree vistas and plants for patients. Doctors are also recommending nature walks for children and families since there is evidence that nature exposure decreases blood pressure and stress hormones. Furthermore, research have linked living near green spaces to a decreased risk of mortality.

Bird habitat: Birds use trees for refuge, food, and nesting. Forests provide a vast range of animal life all around the world.

We might as well maintain the trees and work with them.”
“You don’t want a tree smack dab in the midst of a baseball field.” It’s tough to play sports when there are trees in the way. For example, trees in the centre of motorways.”
Nowak believes that we can plan and manage tree canopies in our cities to assist “impact the air, the water, and our well-being.”


Making preparations for trees
Horticultural therapy transforms gardening into therapy.
Horticultural therapy transforms gardening into therapy.
Nowak adds that there are drawbacks to trees, such as pollen allergies or massive falling limbs during storms, and that “people don’t enjoy raking leaves.”

Urban woodlands, in particular, require our assistance in replacing fallen trees. In contrast to rural regions, it is extremely difficult for trees to repopulate in a metropolitan setting with so much tarmac and asphalt.
“A lot of our native trees can’t really find a location to drop an acorn so they can renew,” explains Greg Levine, Trees Atlanta’s co-executive director.
“That is why the community must step in and help.”

When the saplings take root, the task is not over. Trees Atlanta and its volunteers dedicate the most of their year to caring for these young trees until they are mature enough to live on their own.
“We aim to trim trees every ten years to ensure they have a healthy structure.” Levine continues. “We also use mulch around trees to keep moisture in.”

the ground so that the tree does not dry out We need to be patient while planting trees surrounding pavement to ensure that they can withstand the stress. “
What you can do to help prevent tree loss
Take care of what you have: According to Nowak, the first step is to care for the trees on your own property.

We believe that because we paid for our house, we must maintain it. But we don’t have to since we don’t pay for nature. And that isn’t always the case.”
Pruning dead limbs off your trees: If they’re small enough, you may do it yourself or hire a professional. When you maintain your trees, the likelihood of limbs injuring your house decreases dramatically, according to Nowak.Take note of the following areas where your trees may be in trouble: When anything is amiss, you can often see it, such as when branches lose their leaves and snap, or when mushrooms develop at the base or on the trees.

You may also employ an arborist or tree canopy specialist on a yearly basis to examine the health of your trees. You can also seek guidance from your local agricultural extension office.If it is not required to remove ancient trees, try taking lesser activities such as removing limbs. “It takes 50 to 100 years for these massive trees to mature. And once established, they may survive for a long period. However, taking a large tree out and stating, “We’ll transplant,” there is no assurance that lesser trees would survive, and they will take a long time to mature.”

Allow trees to grow on your property: While everyone’s aesthetic is different, it’s the most cost-effective strategy to obtain cooler yards and reduced energy costs. It’s also a low-cost method of flood and noise control.
Nowak says he chuckles when his neighbours ask why there aren’t more trees on their property since “I hear people running their lawn mowers.” Fallen seeds require a chance to germinate, and

Mowing on a regular basis avoids this. If you don’t like the location of a seedling, you can dig it up and plant it or a new tree somewhere.
Get engaged and educate yourself about trees: Many communities have tree bylaws in place to safeguard historic trees. Attending municipal council meetings is one way to be engaged. You may also help your city plant trees by becoming a member of a local charitable organisation.

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