It’s winter and the hardwood trees have lost their leaves…A new, fresh view seeing through the trees is available now, and you can also see another side of them and admire their gorgeous forms and silhouettes. So much architectural beauty to enjoy, and yet so often we see none of this! If you’re a hiker or even enjoy a walk around your neighborhood, don’t miss out on this winter’s trees where you live. In this post, enjoy two urban forests.
One is a snapshot of a neighborhood in Long Island, New York’s Lloyd Harbor, USDA Zone 7. The other is of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve in Bloomington, Indiana, USDA Zone 6.
While one is a nature preserve and the other is a snapshot of a neighborhood, both, represent the importance of trees in urban areas. In Bloomington, Indiana, for example, well known for it’s gorgeous Indiana University, the city has a database of 20,700 inventoried trees. There are far more trees than this in Bloomington and Bloomington’s urban tree canopy is 38%. Beyond the beauty of trees, a city’s urban forest is essential to its’ well being. “The benefit of our trees that are inventoried translates into a little over 2 million pounds of carbon sequestered every year and about 35 million gallons of stormwater that is diverted or absorbed every year.” said Haskell Smith, Bloomington’s urban forester to Bloom Magazine. Beyond looking at the whole of how important trees are, it’s possible to determine the important role individual trees play, too. An example of this is an old ash tree in Bloomington’s Bryan Park soaks up 4,620 gallons of stormwater runoff annually.
Urban Forest in Winter, Long Island, NY. (Feb. 4, 2024)
Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. Bloomington, Indiana. (Dec. 29, 2023)
This is a 1,200 acre nature preserve.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” ―
Thanks for reading! You can see how two simple winter walks in the urban forest bring up many talking points. Trees are so profound and magnificent whether growing individually or in clusters as in a woodland or forest. They truly add so much beauty, health and goodness to our lives and the lives of birds, animals, insects…
At the same time, trees in the urban forest play a critic role in keeping our environment healthy. The ecological benefits like those listed below are easy to calculate. You can take a look at the included links to identify the reduction in cost to a city by having a healthy urban tree canopy. The “offsets” trees provide with storm water mitigation, carbon dioxide uptake and air pollution removal are huge, and cost saving. With global warming – by providing shade and transpiration, trees can help lower temperatures.
So what are the best practices according to the experts like CanopyBloomington?
“Plant more trees where they’re lacking, help those trees survive and grow into mature trees that provide real benefits as canopy and carbon sinks, diversify our tree species so that a single disease can’t destroy our urban forest, and engage and educate homeowners and citizens on how to properly care for their trees.”
Eco Benefit of Trees:
1. Storm Water Mitigation:
~ Runoff Avoided in gallons
~ Rainfall Intercepted in gallons
2. Carbon Dioxide Uptake:
~ Carbon Sequestered in pounds
~ CO2 Equivalent in pounds
3. Air Pollution Removal:
~ Carbon Monoxide in ounces
~ Ozone in ounces
~ Nitrogen Dioxide in ounces
~ Sulfur Dioxide in ounces