Benefits of trees

More than beauty for our community 

Our trees provide a range of environmental, cultural, psychological and financial benefits, which in turn affect our health and wellbeing.

These benefits include:

Increased biodiversity 

A variety of trees provide a range of food and habitat for a myriad of micro-organisms that live around the roots in the soil, as well as for insects under bark, plus birds, lizards and small mammals living in trees hollows and within the canopy.

Carbon sequestration 

Trees absorb CO2 which helps reduce the amounts contributing to climate change.

Provide shade 

Residents are inclined to walk more on streets with trees, as they shade our walkways in summer and provide protection from the rain. Shade from trees can reduce local temperatures, reducing household energy consumption for cooling. By shading, heat-absorbing surfaces such as bitumen and concrete, trees reduce the heat island effect that leads to higher urban temperatures.

Improved air quality 

Trees intercept and filter harmful gases as well as airborne particle pollution - such as car fumes. They improve air quality and our health by producing oxygen by photosynthesis.

Protect our water 

Tree canopies capture rainwater. This water is then absorbed into the tree and can be returned to the air through transpiration.  Some of this water will also percolate through the soil and return to the water table. Tree roots keep soil porous so that surface water can be easily absorbed. The roots of trees also prevent soil erosion, keeping sediment out of our water ways.

Reduced energy use 

A shaded home needs less air conditioning and less heating is needed in homes that have wind breaks. Reduced energy consumption has environmental benefits such as saving fossil fuels and reducing pollution, as well as economic benefits which mean direct cost saving to residents.

Reduced drainage infrastructure 

Trees capture up to sixty percent of rainfall, reducing surface water runoff entering our drainage systems and minimising flood potential. About thirty percent of rainfall is absorbed by the canopy, and the moisture never hits the ground. Another thirty percent of rainfall is absorbed back into the ground, and taken up by the root structure of the tree.

Traffic calming 

Research has shown that traffic moves more slowly on streets lined with trees.

Create a sense of place 

Trees contribute to our community's character and heritage, provide seasonal interest, a link to nature and a source of delight. Trees also reflect cultural preferences and particular architectural/historical periods in an area's development.

Visually appealing 

Trees provide seasonal interest and natural beauty through their interesting colours, shapes, textures of bark, foliage, canopy, flowers and fruit.

Enhance livability 

Trees create wind breaks along the foreshore and in dense urban areas. They reduce the impact of traffic noise, screen unwanted views and reduce glare. Tree lined streets and parks also maintain and increase property values compared to areas without trees.

Last Updated: 16 March 2023
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