How Trees Help Reduce the Heat Island Effect in Urban Environments

heat island effect

Trees provide innumerable benefits all year long, especially in summer when temperatures and UV rays are at their highest.

Trees provide innumerable benefits all year long, especially in summer when temperatures and UV rays are at their highest.  With proper care and maintenance, trees live for hundreds of years.  But what about urban environments where there aren’t as many trees?  Well, they can help there too!

What is the Heat Island Effect?

The dark colored roofs and asphalt of urban areas naturally attract more sunlight than more rural areas.  When you pair that with the often nonexistent breeze and low precipitation of summer, you get a whole lot of heat.  The elevated temperatures in highly concentrated urban areas causes a dense pocket of hot air that is several degrees warmer than the surrounding areas.  These areas of hot air are called heat islands.

Trees help reduce this by providing shade.  Their leaves crate a barrier between the sun and the dark urban surfaces.  If enough trees are planted in enough places throughout the city, it can help reduce the heat island effect.

Benefits

Lower energy usage: The trees provide shade, which helps air conditioning units not work quite so hard.

Improved air quality: Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it to oxygen. Since oxygen is less dense, it allows the heat to escape easier thereby reducing the heat island effect.

Better storm water management: Trees and other plant life absorb water through their soil, so there’s less runoff and less strain on the city’s sewage system.

Costs

The costs of using trees to reduce a heat island are mainly in the maintenance.  Planting isn’t terribly expensive.  Pruning and pest control account for most of the expense.

Tree Care for Every Season from Nelson Tree Specialist

Nelson Tree Specialist provides specialty arborist services, tree crane services, tree care services, and dead tree removal services. We are well known for our top-notch skills and professionalism. We are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and we are considered certified arborists. We are also an accredited business through the Better Business Bureau and we have great reviews through Angie’s List. To find out how we can help your trees, whether they are exotic and strange or normal and plan, give us a call at (301) 854-2218 (Washington, D.C.) or (202) 909-5662 (Baltimore) or visit us online. For more interesting tree facts and tips, follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 16th, 2017 at 4:42 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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