What Are the Benefits of Planting Trees?

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

March 22, 2024

Trees almost seem magical when you consider the benefits they provide. After using a carbon footprint calculator to find your precise carbon emissions amount, consider the following benefits of trees and then buy carbon offsets that are right for you.

The beauty of the forest is hard to measure, but the benefits of trees can be.

To be clear, excess carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising at an alarming rate. Trees absorb this harmful carbon dioxide from the air, storing the carbon while releasing fresh oxygen.

  • In just one year, an acre of trees absorb the amount of carbon dioxide released from driving your car 26,000 miles.
  • For every 10,000 miles you drive, it takes 15-20 trees to remove the harmful carbon dioxide released.
  • Just 1 acre of forested land absorbs 6 tons of harmful CO2 from the environment while producing 4 tons of breathable oxygen.
  • The evaporation effects of one tree can produce the same level of cooling as ten residential air conditioning units running for 20 hours a day.
  • Trees clean the air by absorbing harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxide and ammonia and filter particles from the atmosphere by trapping them within their leaves and bark.
  • Trees provide oxygen. In just one year, an acre of trees produced enough oxygen for 18 adults.
  • Trees lower temperatures, especially in urban environments where they provide shade cover for buildings and disrupt heat spots created by masses of concrete.
  • Trees conserve energy. By planting trees in an effective manner around a home, energy costs can be cut by up to 50% while at the same time reducing carbon dioxide and other waste.
  • Trees increase the moisture within the atmosphere by absorbing water and transpiring.
  • Trees combat against water pollution by catching rainfall and stopping sediments and chemicals from being released into streams and carried to the ocean.
  • Trees fight against soil erosion and habitat loss by providing a thorough and extensive root network that helps to solidify the ground.
  • Trees improve water quality which leads to replenishment of groundwater supplies.
  • Trees shield ultraviolet rays and reduce exposure by 50%, becoming a useful addition for schools, playgrounds, social centers, and other areas to fight against skin cancers.
  • Trees provide an excess amount of food for the space they take up. One single apple tree can produce up to 20 bushels of apples per year while taking up a tiny amount of room. On top of providing food for humans, they provide food for animals, birds, and other forms of wildlife as well.
  • Trees lower poverty levels. By providing locals with meaningful employment and livable wages, families are lifted from poverty where opportunities for doing so would otherwise not exist.
  • Trees create canopies and lush habitats for countless species and forms of wildlife.
  • Trees provide useful resources that humans can use in a sustainable and responsible manner.
  • Areas with trees and green spaces are statistically shown to be lower in violence and crime. By planting trees, public health and safety also grows.
  • Studies show that urban greenscapes help to lower blood pressure, slow heartbeats, and promote relaxation of brain wave patterns.
  • A mature tree can provide an economic and environmental value of between $1,000 and $10,000. In Oregon alone in 2010, trees added over one billion dollars worth of value to residential homes alone.