Carbon dioxide (CO2) capturing
Trees are the most effective technology today for CO2 sequastration, in other words, reducing the quantities of the gas that is considered the most common greenhouse gas. A single tree in the Climate Forest project will, over the course of its life (assuming 30 years), capture and store 0.896 tons of CO2, and as a result, contributes significantly to our ability to combat climate change.
During photosynthesis, the tree releases oxygen as a byproduct, and oxygen is an essential source of life for us. The amount of oxygen a tree can produce over its life span depends upon the type of tree, its size and environment, but it is customary to state that a single tree produces approximately 700 kg of oxygen over the course of its life. To illustrate, a person consumes an average of 0.79 kg of oxygen a day.
Capturing polluting particles
Trees can remove a variety of pollutants (PM2.5, PM10 and ozone) when the particles and gases settle on the tree, which absorbs the pollutants through microscopic pores (stomata) on their leaves. Studies have shown that trees can lead to up to a 20% reduction in urban pollutants.
Regulating temperatures for buildings
Trees can significantly reduce temperatures, and not only in their immediate surroundings, but also in the buildings they shade. Temperature regulation of a building leads to segnificate improvement in energy efficiency.
Breaking the urban heat island
The urban heat island is a climate phenomenon, in which there is a major temperature difference between cities and open areas. The reason for this relates to various factors such as the vast quantity of materials such as concrete and asphalt, which are able to absorb a great deal of heat and release it slowly; the high concentration of human greenhouse gas emitting activity and the relative absence of plant coverage. Planting trees in the city breaks the heat island,significantly offsets the heat level in the city and reduces temperatures by 2-5° C.
Trees create shade that makes urban spaces more accessible to the public in terms of climate comfort (squares, seating areas, etc.) and also help create and expand shaded paths, which improve urban walkability and promote the use of bicycles or walking in the city over the use of private cars.
With the intensive human activity in the city and the increase in the volume of traffic, the level of noise has also increased. Trees in the urban space provide layers of protection by screening and reducing noise levels, and in doing so contribute to the general comfort of city residents as well as those who walk down the streets.
Enriching biological diversity
A tree encourages various birds, insects, different pollinators, types of fungi, lichen and more to come and enjoy what it has to offer. This contributes to enriching local biodiversity in the city and maintains it as a habitat, food source or a new presence of a complex ecological system with a wide variety of interactions between organic and inorganic items.
Physical and psychological wellbeing
Japanese studies have demonstrated that immediate proximity to areas with open nature and trees improves physical and emotional health, thus enabling higher quality of life. Additionally, the proximity to trees offers people the opportunity to step out of the rat race and remember the beauty of nature around us.
Preventing waste disposal
When you take a neglected space and create an inviting, pleasant and aesthetic one – the incidents of vandalism and waste-dumping at the site decrease markedly. Aesthetics attracts aesthetics, and studies show how residents tend to take responsibility of abandoned areas that have been revitalized, nurture and care for them.
Public areas that are given back to the public create opportunities for the local community to connect.
The numerous advantages of trees transform human existence into something more pleasant and invites additional people to take part.
The shade, the organic material that falls and covers the ground and the enrichment of soil biodiversity benefit the area in which trees are planted and, in fact, facilitate financial savings in the amounts of irrigation required for additional plants in the area. In other words, in the long term, wherever municipalities tend to plant seasonal flowers or shrubs, trees could actually lead to significant savings in the cost of irrigation.
Unlike soil, which allows water to seep slowly, the urban concrete sprawl sends copious quantities of surface runoff directly into the runoff system, creating an abominable waste of water than could and should return to an aquifer. Planting trees opens pockets of soil in the concrete cover, which enable more points for the water to seep into the ground, instead of created a flow of water into the urban runoff systems, which for the most part are not capable of containing the large volume that results from extreme rain. Additionally, the soil in tree-planted areas is more vital and richer in organic material, making it more porous and allowing more seepage than dense and unplanted soil.
Preventing soil erosion
The coverage of most spaces in urban areas with concrete and asphalt leads to significant surface runoff that is seen more forcefully during rainy periods (which as a result of climate change are only becoming more extreme – more rain in less time). The root system of trees holds on to the soil and prevents the loss of precious top soil.
Enriching the soil
The addition of trees in marginal, neglected areas, enrich the soil with diverse organic material over time, bringing with it a wide range of various micro-organisms that play a highly important role in the success of any ecosystem, large or small, as well as making the soil more fertile.