Tree Info

Some benefits and drawbacks of trees:

 

Environmental

Values:
• Trees can help with water management in the sense that they can reduce the speed at which water reaches drainage pipes by catching and retaining water on their leaves.
• Trees can reduce noise pollution by screening the area where noise is coming from.
• They can reduce the amount of wind flowing in an area by dampening it with their leaves.
• They create shade with their leaves and branches reducing heat and evaporation from the ground.
• Trees improve air quality by releasing oxygen into the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
• Trees can intercept pollution and particulates on their leaves and their bark.

Drawbacks:
• Trees may block light by being very dense.
• May break sidewalks or structures over time with the growth of their roots.
• May drop fruits or leaves creating a messy area.
• May create noise when the wind blows amongst their leaves such as on some poplars.

Ecological

Values:
• Trees can build up humus through the shedding of their leaves which improves the soil through the addition of organic matter.
• They can associate with nitrogen fixing bacteria which also improves soil but in a different way.
• They can provide food for birds and insects with their fruit, leaves or pollen.
• Trees can provide homes for squirrels and other small animals.
• They can provide nesting materials for various animals, not least birds.
• They can provide green corridors which can extend the amount of space animals, such as squirrels, can utilize in urban settings.

Drawbacks:
• Trees can provide food for fungi which may help them colonize new areas and decay other things such as shrubs.
• Some trees make the ground around them toxic by allelopathy, the exuding of chemicals, preventing other plants from growing.
• Some trees may require so much water that they deprive nearby plants of it.
• Some trees can attract large quantities of certain insects, such as stink bugs, which may then start feeding on other plants.

Social/Economic

Values:
• Trees provide work for people that maintain them.
• Trees can help in the recovery rates of medical patients through their calming effect.
• Trees provide timber and many other products required today such as toys, picture frames, paper etc…
• Trees can increase property values as they are seen as beneficial or they might be rare specimens offering a type of status symbol.
• They provide educational material in the form of habitats for other species or just in themselves.
• They provide a meeting/recreational area or a place where one can hang a hammock or a swing.
Drawbacks:
• Trees may fail causing injury or damage or both.
• They can shed multitudes of leaves making a mess which requires sweeping and therefore expenses or maintenance.
• They can host insects such as aphids which coat everything under them with a sticky residue.
• They can encourage anti-social behavior by creating areas where people can hide or are not easily seen.
• They can reduce the value of a property if they require expensive work to make them safe or if they are simply too imposing or just create a lot of shade.

Amenity/Landscape:

Values:
• Trees can be beautiful by their leaves, bark or flowers in form or color.
• Trees can attract pretty birds/wildlife with their fruits.
• They soften the landscape with their leaves and swaying branches in areas containing multitudes of angular structures.
• They can conceal entirely or partially things that may not be pleasing to the eye.
• They can frame views or create avenues when rows of trees are present.
• They can be the centerpiece in a garden defining its theme.
• They can provide welcome shade on a hot, sunny, day.

Drawbacks:
• Trees can obstruct views whether panoramic or otherwise, simply due to their location.
• Trees can block street lights and CCTVs with their leaves and branches making areas unsafe.
• They can grow roots which protrude from the ground creating a trip hazard or that may impede people in wheelchairs from accessing certain areas.
• Trees with low branches may tempt children into climbing them which may deter their parents from living nearby or visiting to avoid the risk of their children hurting themselves.
• Trees may impede the construction of access for motorists through the campaign of people that know better, or the opposite, preventing their removal.