Trees improve our health, wealth, and happiness.
Our Mission: Trees for all
Durhamites Deserve A Socially Just, Healthy, And Sustainable Urban Forest
Trees & Your Health
Japanese studies have proven many health benefits of being surrounded by trees: improved immune system function, reduced stress, hostility, and depression scores, increased liveliness, and decreased blood pressure.
Certain fruit and nut trees, like apples, chestnuts, figs, pears, pecans, plums, and persimmons, grow well in North Carolina’s Piedmont areas like Durham. We might not always buy unique (and often pricey) fruits like persimmons and figs, but these fruits are great for adding fresh variety to your diet, and if grown nearby or on your property, you can ensure they are locally grown and picked when ripe!
Trees provide shade, which blocks UV rays, preventing sunburn and even skin cancer. The presence of trees in neighborhoods has been shown to decrease the prevalence of underweight births, prevent diseases like asthma because they remove pollutants from the air, and even reduce crime. One study even demonstrated a link between quicker surgery recovery times and trees visible from hospital room windows.
Trees & Your Wealth
The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that the proper placement of only three trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually.
Trees in neighborhoods and in front of houses can increase market prices by up to 20%.
High canopy coverage in neighborhoods, and trees on private property and on streets, can increase property and home values by up to 20%.
Due to the immense environmental and ecological benefits of trees, including reduced air pollution, stormwater control, carbon storage, improved air quality, and reduced energy consumption, residents who live near a sufficient number of trees benefit from reduced utility bills and fewer diseases and stress, which have significant long term monetary savings.
Trees & Your Happiness
Expanding Durham’s tree canopy to reach all Durham residents is a social justice project. We aim to plant trees in historically neglected neighborhoods and underserved communities with residents from these areas to attempt to rectify the racial and socioeconomic injustices of tree plantings of the past. This work will expand the health, economic, infrastructural, and environmental benefits of trees to communities and families who have historically not received or benefitted from them. These benefits of trees also address larger, structural racial injustices, like wealth gaps and health disparities.
In cities, trees deflect sunlight, which reduces the ‘heat island effect’ that plagues urban areas. The Durham City-County Planning Department defines this: “The urban heat island effect explains why metropolitan areas are often significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas. As urban areas develop, buildings, roads, and other infrastructure replace open land and vegetation. These impermeable materials absorb and trap heat, causing ambient temperatures to rise. At night the trapped heat is radiated back into the atmosphere, further increasing the ambient temperatures. Heat islands can affect communities by raising summertime energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and incidence of heat-related illness or mortality.”
Trees & Our Environment
Trees provide food, shelter, and nesting spots to many species of organisms, and trees’ symbiotic relationships with many species of insects, birds, and mammals highlight the critical importance of trees in our ecosystems.
Bees eat the flowers on trees. Flowers provide nutrient-rich pollen and nectar that bees use for energy and to make honey. Bees, in return, cross-pollinate fruit trees with other tree varieties, which allows the trees to produce fruit.
Caterpillars and other insects burrow into trees to reproduce and eat tree leaves. These bugs become food for birds who are building nests, incubating eggs, and feeding young under the protection of a tree. Birds and small mammals eat tree flower buds.
Pine cones are food sources for birds and small animals, such as squirrels and chipmunks.
TREES AND WATER
Trees mitigate stormwater runoff, which is rainfall that accumulates or flows over ground surfaces that don’t absorb water, like roads, driveways, parking lots, and rooftops. Stormwater runoff causes water pollution because the water collects bacteria and pollutants when it comes in contact with these surfaces, and ‘runs off’ through drains into streams and rivers. When stormwater does not have anywhere to go, it can cause flooding. Trees solve this problem by absorbing and holding great amounts of water and can protect neighborhoods and cities against flooding. Tree roots also protect against soil erosion during heaving rain or flooding.
Trees absorb CO2, helping to slow climate change and global warming. Young trees absorb CO2 at a rate of about 13 pounds per tree each year. At about 10 years old, they absorb about 48 pounds of CO2 per year. A tree stores the CO2’s carbon and releases enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. Beyond filtering the air, trees can even reduce noise pollution.
Our Happy Clients
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1234 Divi Dr. San Francisco, CA 93522
Let’s Build Your Dream Garden Together
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