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It’s true: Trees save lives

June 20, 2013
By

Druid Hill osage orange treeThe idea that urban trees help keep city people healthy is, well, kind of an assumed truth in many peoples’ minds. But a new study by scientists at the U.S. Forest Service and the Syracuse-based Davey Institute, the research arm of the tree-care company Davey Tree, quantifies it, concluding that trees save “an average of one life every year per city” by reducing “fine particulate pollution,” according to a USFS press release.

Baltimore was one of the cities studied, along with Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Syracuse. The study’s conclusion is good news for all cities that emphasize forestry and tree cover, but perhaps especially so in Baltimore, which so far this year is on target to have nearly 220 murders by year’s end. Offsetting that morbid forecast even by one life saved thanks to trees’ pollution-fighting qualities is a heartening proposition.

(Photo by Sam Holden)

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