Benefits of Trees

In a sense, we are all part of "One Canopy". The benefits of the existing urban forest are shared by the entire community. Tacoma's Urban Forest Management Plan provides strategic actions to ensure sustained and enhanced long-term benefits are enjoyed by all.

Benefits Provided by Trees

The quality of life of the citizens in any community depends on the urban forest, as trees make a vital and affordable contribution to the sense of community, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, energy savings, and air quality. The urban forestry program is critical to meeting the city's commitment to climate change, carbon sequestration, stormwater reduction, wildlife habitat enhancement, and water conservation. Trees are one of the few infrastructure investments that grow in value over time. The following data was derived from the Alliance for Community Trees(1).

Clean the Air and Breathe Easier

Shade trees reduce pollution and return oxygen to the atmosphere. In addition to carbon

dioxide, trees’ leaves or needles absorb pollutants, such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur

dioxide, and some particulate matter.

Save Energy and Lower Energy Costs for Buildings

As natural screens, trees can insulate homes and businesses from extreme temperatures,

keep properties cool, and reduce air conditioning utility bills. A 20 percent canopy of

deciduous trees over a house results in annual cooling savings of 8 to 18 percent and

annual heating savings of 2 to 8 percent. By planting shade trees on sunny exposures,

residents and businesses can save up to 50 percent on hot-day energy bills.