The Best Trees for Urban Spaces
As the effects of climate change become more prevalent, urban spaces face increasing challenges. However, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has identified three types of trees that can help combat these effects in urban areas.
The Three Types of Trees
- Street Trees: These trees are planted along streets and sidewalks to provide shade and reduce the heat island effect in urban areas. Some suitable street trees include London Plane trees and Sweetgum trees.
- Stormwater Trees: These trees are specifically chosen for their ability to absorb stormwater runoff, preventing flooding and reducing the strain on drainage systems. Some recommended stormwater trees include River Birch and Red Maple.
- Climate Adapted Trees: These trees are selected for their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, such as drought, heatwaves, and high winds. Examples of climate adapted trees include Bald Cypress and White Oak.
Benefits of Planting these Trees
By planting these trees in urban spaces, several benefits can be achieved:
- Improved air quality due to the trees’ ability to absorb pollutants and release oxygen.
- Reduced urban heat island effect, as the trees provide shade and cool down the surrounding areas.
- Prevention of stormwater runoff, which reduces the risk of flooding and alleviates pressure on drainage systems.
- Increased biodiversity by providing habitats and food sources for birds and other urban wildlife.
- Increase in property values, as the presence of trees enhances the aesthetic appeal of urban areas.
As climate uncertainty continues to affect urban spaces, planting the right types of trees can make a significant difference. Street trees, stormwater trees, and climate-adapted trees all play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change, improving air quality, and enhancing the overall well-being of urban communities.