Trees shade our homes, add beauty to our communities and countryside, and protect biodiversity by providing food and habitat for birds and animals. Trees are natural air filters - taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Trees protect sources of drinking water by preventing soil erosion.
Trees absorb and store greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as they grow, making them an essential tool in Ontario's fight against climate change.
It’s no coincidence then that neighbourhoods with the most trees are those with the highest property values. Keeping in mind that half the urban area in cities is either paved over or covered with buildings, it’s no surprise trees make a street, district, or indeed, an entire city, highly desirable.
And nowhere are we talking about the sort of architectural use of trees that enlivens so many European cities. That costs money and requires a commitment of decades, even centuries. But to wander the streets of, say, Paris is to be reminded of the huge role trees can play on the urban landscape.
Urban Trees And Their Benefits
Trees are considered a form of “green infrastructure” providing many benefits to urban dwellers:
Facts about Trees
• Two thirds of Ontario, an area totaling 71.1 million hectares, is covered by forests - a land
area equivalent in size to Germany, Italy and the Netherlands combined.
Our forests can absorb a staggering 425 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
And since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, that's good for our climate.
• Trees reduce air conditioning needs by up to 30 per cent by providing shade for homes
• Ancient cedars over 1,500 years old can be found growing on the Niagara Escarpment.
• Ontario's official tree, the eastern white pine, is the tallest tree species in eastern
North America, reaching heights greater than 30 metres.
• Black spruce is the most common tree in Ontario, making up more than 37 per cent
of the province's growing stock.
We can all contribute to a healthy natural environment by planting trees. Before planting, it's important to research a variety of tree species, or talk to an expert, to find out which trees grow best in your part of the province.
Ontario Tree Guide: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/groups/lr/@mnr/@climatechange/documents/document/276611.pdf
Source: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/ClimateChange/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_086474.html , http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/05/17/urban_tree_canopy_makes_toronto_livable_hume.html. http://www.kelowna.ca/CM/page940.aspx