HAVING enjoyed our Christmas trees over the festive season, now might be a good time to think further afield about our urban forest and what trees do for us.
Trees are so much part of our daily life that it is easy to forget the whole variety of benefits that they provide.
They improve air quality, particularly on tree-lined streets which can be up to 60 per cent lower than streets without trees.
Tree planting remains one of the most cost-effective ways of controlling CO2.
A single mature tree absorbs carbon at a rate of more than 20kg per year.
They also release oxygen back into the atmosphere.
Properties on tree-lined streets are said to be in more demand and to sell faster than those in streets without the benefit of trees.
They are said to improve property prices by as much as 15 per cent.
Mature trees can help prevent or alleviate flooding, which is particularly important in our area.
They capture rainwater and prevent erosion.
They shade our streets and homes and can reduce local energy consumption by as much as 10 per cent during the warmer months.
Mature trees and green spaces have a positive effect on our health and wellbeing.
Trees also help maintain biodiversity by providing natural habitats for our native birds and other fauna.
We really need our trees.
They are a valuable asset and play a very important role in creating a sustainable future for our city.
According to a recent survey, the eight million trees in London contribute £130m per year in wider benefits.
Other cities have won praise for making trees a key planning consideration.
If you would like to get involved by becoming a tree warden, call me on (023) 9266 7962.
Alternatively, visit portsmouthtree.org.uk.