By Ron LazzerSociety grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. -Greek Proverb
One of the greatest things you can do is to plant a tree that future generations will benefit from. Trees grow slowly and require a lot of patience but their benefits are almost endless. Let’s look at some of these benefits along with some special programs that encourage the growth of Toronto’s tree canopy.Physical Benefits
First of all, something we all know is that trees produce oxygen. We need oxygen to breathe so we cannot exist without trees. Oxygen is one of the essential elements of life and although we can produce it synthetically in a lab isn’t it easier to just let the trees do it for us? If that’s not enough, trees also filter out harmful chemicals from the air we breathe such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone.Social Benefits
Studies have shown spending only 10 minutes around trees can reduce your stress. Even better, hospital patients that have a view of trees from their room recover quicker than patients who do not. Do you want your kids to do better in school? Children who spend time around trees or green spaces have a higher retention rate of the material they learned. Who would have guessed that trees make you smarter?Economic Benefits
By shading your home from the sun in the summer, trees can reduce your cooling costs. Also, deciduous trees drop their leaves in the winter allowing sunlight to pass through and warm your home reducing your heating costs. If you’re looking to add value to your property trees can make a big contribution. Homes with mature trees can sell for up to 10 percent more than equivalent homes without trees. So if you want a more valuable home - just plant some trees.Programs
There are several programs to help you with your tree planting:
1. If you’re interested in having a tree planted on your boulevard call 311 and ask them about it. The city of Toronto will come out and analyze your site, choose a tree that fits in perfectly and plant it for you for free. That’s a great deal.
2. Check out YourLeaf.org. This is an amazing organization with several different programs. You can get a tree planted in your backyard at a subsidized cost.
3. If you’re looking for a free native tree for your backyard check out TreeForMe.ca. Their website gives you all the information you need to choose the right tree for your home.
Let’s work together to grow Toronto’s tree canopy and create an even better place to live than we have now. Let’s make a contribution to the future of our city. Let’s plant some trees.
Ron Lazzer is the owner of Bellevue Landscaping. If you have any questions or comments please email them to Ron@BellevueLandscaping.ca