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Why are Street Trees So Important to Urban Areas?

Why Are Street Trees So Important to Urban Areas?

While trees are of course a very attractive features for cities and other heavily populated areas, why do we put in the effort to ensure that we have them? Why are street trees in urban areas so important?

We are going to be sharing some of the most vitally important reasons for having (and even putting more) trees in heavily congested parts of the country.


The most obvious reason for planting and cultivating beautiful trees in cities is simply for how they look.

Cities are generally fairly boring to look at, unless you get nature involved. The large buildings and factories surrounded with heavily trafficked streets and lights can really make for an unpleasant setting. However, once you start to incorporate diverse species of trees, flowers, and other plants in the mix, things start to look a little more interesting.

Having trees line the side of the road does an amazing job of hiding distractions from drivers, and create a beautiful green wall for those on foot, bikes, or cars. They also invite beautiful birds and squirrels to the area for a little more variety.

The beauty of trees cannot be overstated – having them as part of a city landscape is a wonderful way to beautify the area.

Shade and Heat Protection

In addition to how beautiful they are, trees are also ideal for protecting pedestrians from extreme heat and sunlight, as well as rain. This is important because it could encourage more people to visit and shop in local businesses, and it reduces the need for man-made protections against nature.

There can be a difference in temperature between 5 to 15 degrees when you are walking in a city with good tree coverage. On top of that, the additional shade that they provide can help eliminate the need for chemical sun blocking agents.

As for rain, people walking in the city won’t have to worry as much about remembering their umbrellas every day if there is decent tree coverage. A heavy group of trees can stop a light to heavy rain from being disastrous. Depending on the location of the area, snow may still be an issue, but choosing trees that keep their leaves/needles all year round can help with that as well.

Improving Environmental Health

Cities are heavily congested areas, meaning that they are filled with people, cars, and other machines that can create a lot of issues if nothing is done. Exhaust from trucks and other automobiles can be a fairly large health concern for those surrounding it, as well as the environment, and trees are a wonderful solution to that problem.

Exhaust contains several significant pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOC), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). These emissions are adding to health problems like asthma, while also damaging the natural environment. Having a healthy number of trees in an area with a lot of fumes can significantly cut down on their impact.

Making the City a More Pleasant Place to Live and Drive

Lastly, having street trees generally has a pleasant effect on living, working, and walking in the city.

It is said that trees in urban areas actually decrease the average car speed. This is mainly because street trees create a vertical wall that frames the streets, which gives drivers a guide for their movement and allows them to better assess their speed. On top of that, studies have shown that having trees lining busy streets drastically decreases the number of cars being run off the road and the severity of crashes.

Because of the beautifying aspect of urban trees, they also generally create a bigger sense of pride and community, and build a safer area for both motorists and pedestrians alike. They decrease road rage, improve local business, allow for less drainage infrastructure, and even improve emotional and psychological health. At this point, why wouldn’t you want street trees?

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Arborist Now does a lot for the local street trees. Read more about what we are doing here. If you are in the area and have areas that need tree care, contact us for more information.

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