Trees Help Reduce The Greenhouse Effect Issue: Poor air quality present in many regions of South Carolina help increase the Greenhouse Effect. • The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere trap energy from the sun. • Approximately half of the greenhouse effect is caused by carbon dioxide (CO2). • Trees remove CO2 during photosynthesis. • Carbon is stored in their trunks, branches, and leaves while they release oxygen back into the air.
Trees Reduce Air Pollutants Issue: Air pollutants released from industry expansion and transportation exhaust cause health issues. • Pollutant removal is critically important for those suffering from respiratory and other diseases. • Trees help reduce these pollutants, as well as improve air quality. • Trees rooted in city streets help reduce up to 60% of particulates (small particles emitted in smoke from burnt fuel).
Urban Forests Protect Water Quality and Prevent Erosion Issue: Erosion, flooding, and storm water management are costly community issues. • Trees help prevent erosion and flooding. • They also reduce the amount of storm water that flows into drainage areas, which reduces water pollution. • Trees reduce topsoil erosion, slow down water run-off, prevent absorption of harmful land pollutants, and replenish our groundwater supplies.
Trees Help Conserve Energy Issue: High energy costs Americans millions of dollars a year. • 2 billion dollars of energy can be saved through the use of three trees per un-shaded home. • Properly landscaped homes can save up to 58% on daytime air conditioning, which can reduce oil consumption by 500,000 barrels per day nationwide. • Energy consumption can be reduced by 30% in the winter, and 20 % in the summer.
Trees Increase Business Issue: Poor landscaped areas decrease sales. • Shoppers are willing to pay for parking and up to 12% more for goods and services in tree-lined commercial districts. • Customers shop more frequently and for longer periods of times in well-landscaped business districts.
Trees Increase Property Values Issue: Homeowners’ poorly landscaped yards have negative effects on property value. • Property valued of landscaped homes are 5-20% higher than those of non-landscaped homes. • Each large front yard tree adds 1% to price, and large specimen trees can add 10% or more to property values.
Trees Help Save Money Issue: Pollution removal and high energy prices are costly for local governments and tax payers. • Pollution removal in large cities can reach 9 million dollars a year. • Trees can help save these cities by: • Reducing energy needs and bills by providing shade homes and office buildings. • Generating $31,250 worth of oxygen over a 50 year time period.
For more information: SC Forestry Commission Community Forestry Program http://www.state.sc.us/forest/urban.htm or The Jim Self Center on the Future Strom Thurmond Institute Clemson University http://www.strom.clemson.edu