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Helping our environment

Here are some ways trees help our environment:

Trees clean the air we breathe.

They can remove carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and other pollutants. The more trees we plant, the more pollution they can absorb to benefit our health. Large, mature trees with many leaves capture the most pollution.

Trees treat water pollution.

Their root systems can collect contaminants as water seeps through the soil.

Trees help handle storm runoff and reduce flooding.

During heavy rainstorms, trees reduce the amount of stormwater that runs off pavement and roofs by channeling rain to the earth around their roots, where it can soak in and be filtered, and by collecting raindrops on their leaves, where the water can evaporate. This can greatly reduce the volume of water that enters storm sewers, which diminishes the risk of flooding and the amount of sewage-polluted stormwater that cities must treat. The US Forest Service estimates 100 mature trees intercept about 250,000 gallons of rainfall per year in their leafy crowns.