Study Finds More Trees Would Boost Health in Minneapolis

Minneapolis, like other major US cities, is experiencing a boost in its population. A new study ranked 32 cities across the country to see which would benefit most from having more trees in its urban areas. The study results show Minneapolis tying for second for the greatest impacts on reducing illness from air pollution. Furthermore, Minneapolis ranks third for reduced deaths and health risks as a result of summer heat waves. 

More Trees Would Boost Health in Minneapolis

Trees For Public Health

Trees are becoming an increasingly important tool for public health. As temperatures rise and air pollution increases, trees become even more important for keeping people healthy. Trees filter out humidity and take carbon from the air to produce oxygen. In addition, they offer more shade for people and buildings, which cuts down on cooling costs. 

Higher Temperatures and Air Pollution 

Cities in the northern United States are not used to high humidity and heat waves brought on by climate change. Already an estimated 12,000 people die from heat-related causes each year. Trees serve as an effective countermeasure because they reduce humidity in these areas. In addition, trees lower the air around them by an average of 3.6 degrees. 

Building Urban Forests

Many cities are struggling to keep the forests they already have. Minneapolis, in particular, is dealing with a number of factors, including an epidemic of Dutch Elm Disease and an Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Furthermore, urban development and renovation continues to remove perfectly healthy trees. As a result,  many cities are not able to keep up on planting new trees to replace those displaced by construction or illness.

There is more than just public health at steak. Planting trees also helps reduce the cost of maintaining public health.  Planting a maximum allowance of trees around the world can reduce death rates by 37,000 people a year at a cost of only $4 per tree. In other words, planting more trees helps save lives and money, and is nothing but a solid long-term investment.