Trees Help You Breathe Easier and Live Longer


Breathe Easy: You have Trees

Walk five blocks in Baltimore, and you’ll appreciate the benefits that trees provide. Shade cover makes the summer heat barely bearable. Leaves stamp out unsightly scenery (telephone wires). You become almost emotionally attached to the ones that dot the sidewalk outside your front door.

In addition to living better, trees also can also boost health, according to a recent study by researchers with the U.S. Forest Service, as reported by the Baltimore Sun.

Researchers studied ten cities (Baltimore, Atlanta, and New York, to name a few) using computer modeling and were able to conclude for the first time ever that human health can be directly linked to trees. The reason: tree leaves can eliminate the fine particles we breathe in urban areas by catching loose soot and pollution. This means easier breathing, fewer asthma attacks, and the avoidance of premature death.

While the study did conclude that more trees could generally maximize health benefits, one researcher noted that cities must plan the planting of trees in urban areas carefully – a dense canopy of trees could mean trapped pollution and worse health outcomes.

Sounds like it’s time to have a tree planning and planting summit in Baltimore!

Other ideas for taking advantage of health benefits from trees:

  • Review the U.S. Forest Service information on planting and maintaining trees
  • Participate in your local Arbor Day celebration and ask organizers for tips on the best place to plant a tree
  • If you live in an urban area, research what you can do locally online.  In some cases, you’ll be able to request a free tree for your home or office. The city may even plant it for you.
  • Review these tree care tips to make sure you find and keep healthy trees
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Jasmine’s father, sister, and brother are doctors, but she’s always seen health as more than just healthcare. Through WellPower, Jasmine hopes to bring broader awareness to food access issues and all of the factors in our daily lives that affect health. Read more.