One small action you can take which has a huge positive environmental impact, is to plant a tree. (or more than one if you can!)
But if you can find space in your garden for one tree, that is amazing.
Here are some (occasionally unexpected) benefits trees;
- They are good for you – Trees have been shown to reduce stress, improve mood and some can even help boost our immune systems
- They support wildlife, and biodiversity. A Single oak tree can support 500 species of insect! Give shelter and food for birds, as well as providing a food source for deer, squirrels and badgers from its acorns. The leaves that fall provide shelter for more insects and a place for fungi to grow. Doesn’t have to be an oak tree though all trees will provide some nature with a home or food source. And fruit trees provide food for you too!
- They absorb CO2. Helping to prevent climate change. A young tree can absorb around 13lb a year whist a 10 year old tree around 48lb.
- Better Air quality – Trees also absorb odours and filter particles out of the air.
- They’re cool – if you live in a town or city especially trees can help to keep us cool. Tarmac and concrete are very good at absorbing and holding heat, causing the heat in towns and cities to rise. Trees offer shade to homes or gardens or pavements. And they release water which helps to cool the air temperature.
- They save water. – Shade from trees slows water evaporation from plants and lawns, meaning they require less watering.
- Give us cleaner water. Trees help to prevent water pollution, by allowing the water time to filter through the soil and rocks it allows cleaner water to enter the waterways/reservoirs /ocean and groundwater.
- Trees protect. Trees reduce UVB exposure by around 50% reducing the risk of sun damage to our skin, whilst allowing us more time outside. Especially important for children.
- A little privacy or a great cover up. They can cover up a wall or unsightly view, offer privacy and reduce noise levels from surrounding areas.
- Valuable in the community. Trees can increase property values, reduce crime rates and inspire greater community pride. At the end of the day, we all love trees!
It is best to plant native species, and always make sure you know how big they are likely to get before you plant them (oak trees and beech trees for example can get rather large!)
Make sure to plant them far enough away from the house that they are not likely to cause damage. (rule of thumb is at least its mature height away from buildings)
If you are unable to plant a tree at home you can always sponsor a tree or trees. Or go on a tree planting.
Here are some resources to help
You can help the Woodland Trust by donating HERE