Some might imagine hardwood forests or sun-dappled country roads when they think of trees. But nature’s green sentinels can transform a bleak urban setting into a lively, shady haven for life.
It’s good to know that the city of Anderson’s commitment to trees recently earned the municipality its 22nd Tree City USA distinction, conferred by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Why do trees matter in a city? Ten benefits, taken verbatim from treepeople.org:
• In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.
• Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases, filtering particulates out of the air.
• An acre of mature trees can provide oxygen for 18 people for an entire year.
• Trees cool a city by as much as 10 degrees, shading homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapor.
• Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by as much as 50 percent.
• Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities.
• Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.
• Trees can mask concrete walls and parking lots. They muffle sound from nearby streets and create an eye-soothing canopy of green.
• The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15 percent.
• Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business flows in. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic — enough to allow motorists to look at the storefronts instead of whizzing by.
Everything considered, cities with trees are flat out cool. And that’s a distinction that Anderson can use.
More online To read The Herald Bulletin's recent news article about Anderson's Tree City USA designation, visit http://bit.ly/1gJafCk