In this article from Parade, RJ Laverne tells readers about the health benefits of trees.
By Julie Bawden-Davis
Published: April 25, 2014
Today’s Arbor Day! Time to hug the trees in your life and thank them. In addition to providing pretty views, soothing shade, and climbing opportunities, trees save our lives and planet.
According to a study focusing on the health benefits of trees conducted by the U.S. Forest Service and the Davey Institute, urban forests save thousands of lives every year and improve many more.
“Trees act as giant filters that clean the air we breathe,” says R.J. Laverne, a board-certified master arborist at The Davey Tree Expert Company. “They intercept airborne particles, cooling the air, and they absorb pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, changing those pollutants into less harmful forms.”
The truth is, we couldn’t exist as we do if there were no trees, says Laverne. “A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.”
Trees improve overall quality of life, making people happier. They also cut down on hospital visits and days taken off work, and they’ve even been shown to reduce levels of domestic violence and foster more sociable, safer neighborhoods, says Laverne, who has studied the emotional benefits of trees.
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