Trees help clean the air

A recently published report from The Nature Conservancy titled “Planting Healthy Air,” detailed which cities could benefit most from tree plantings, focusing on the benefit they could gain from the heat and PM (particle matter) reduction credited to tree plantings. This report found that investing $4 per resident in these cities for tree planting could improve the health of millions, further showcasing trees as a cost-effective solution for air pollution and heat islands, among many other urban difficulties.

Most of the cooling and filtering effects created by trees are fairly localized, so densely populated cities – as well as those with higher overall pollution levels – tend to see the highest overall return on investment from tree plantings.

The report concludes that the localized nature of these effects means that just about any neighborhood in any of these cities could benefit from planting trees. This report also shows that city planners or arborists can target particularly vulnerable neighborhoods to screen against PM coming from nearby surroundings.

“Planting Healthy Air” dives into just one of the many cost-effective benefits of planting trees in urban areas. Read the entire report to understand the details behind these benefits and the research that was completed for the report.


Contents of this article are shared for informational purposes only. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources does not endorse and makes no representations, expressed, inferred or implied, concerning these organizations, programs or services.

For more information contact Ellen Clark (, Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, at 608-267-2774.


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