Urban Tree Planting: Beyond Aesthetics

This two-minute sound segment discusses the reasons for planting trees in the city. The speaker says planting trees has a number of benefits which we often do not think of, including providing shade. Trees provide habitat for wildlife, trap particulate pollution, lessen noise, create windbreaks, and increase property values. A city forester in Ithaca, New York says that higher ambient temperatures create more pollution, so trees shading asphalt in parking lots keep the ambient temperatures down. Also, if we can put shade, for instance, on an air conditioning unit, that air conditioner will work less and burn less fossil fuel. A tree takes carbon dioxide and sequesters it from the atmosphere, but it is also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide because of lower demand for electricity. This site is from an archive of a daily radio program called Pulse of the Planet, which provides its listeners with a portrait of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide and blending interviews and extraordinary natural sound. The site also provides a written transcript of the broadcast.

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Grade Level: General Public, College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12)
Topics: Human Dimensions/Resources