Benefits of Trees

Trees are essential in our natural life support system: they play a vital role in the environmental, social and economic sustainability of our city.

Social benefits

  • Encourage interaction with neighbors and improve sense of community. Studies show that cities with public parks have lower violence rates than those which don’t.
  • Recreational opportunities.

Economic benefits

Trees properly placed around buildings can:

  • Reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save energy used for heating by 20-50%.
  • Improve property values by 20%.
  • Attract investment and tourism.

Environmental benefits

  • Improve air quality by producing oxygen and absorbing CO2 emissions and other pollutants.
  • Trees capture and filter rainfall, improving soil quality and reducing stormwater runoff, and saving city water management costs.
  • Canopy cover reduces heat island temperatures.
  • Trees provide habitat, food, and protection to plants and animals, increasing urban biodiversity.

Health benefits

  • Urban forests boost physical and mental health while reducing stress, blood pressure, and asthma rates.

Why do we need more trees in Eugene?

Many of the most significant trees in our city were planted more than a century ago. Although this living legacy is wonderful, it is under serious pressure and in slow decline. With care, we can continue to enjoy it for years to come. However we also need an extensive tree planting program to provide future generations a healthy and sustainable environment. Over the past 15-20 years, Eugene has experienced a continued decline in canopy cover, and more recently, winter storms have significantly impacted the viability of our forest. Providing an extensive planting and maintenance program will help restock and care for the urban forest, reduce storm water run-off, increase property values, and decrease utility bills.

Read the 2021 Eugene Urban Tree Canopy Report.