Trees are nature’s phenomenon

fall colors in urban forest
Happy Urban and Community Forestry Month! Healthy trees create a vibrant urban forest. Photo Guy Kramer

Happy Urban and Community Forestry Month! Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as such for the third consecutive year. Why? Because when you think about all the benefits that trees provide, you realize just how phenomenal they are.

Many benefits of trees are obvious: Trees create food for insects, wildlife and people; they supply wood for fuel, furniture and homes; and they provide beauty for all of us. Other tree benefits can be less obvious: A large tree in your front yard can intercept rainfall in its crown and absorb rainfall through its roots, reducing stormwater runoff and flooding on your property; if that same tree shades your house, it can save you hundreds of dollars every year in cooling costs; and, a healthy mature tree in your front yard can boost your property’s value.

So how in the world would you go about calculating your own tree’s benefits? Easy, but you’re going to need the size of the tree and approximate age. Then, use the National Tree Benefit Calculator to find out all the benefits. Plus, you can virtually plant a tree and find out what benefits it will provide. Autumn is generally a great time to plant new trees, too.

There are surprising benefits from all types of trees. You can learn more about them through Trees Are Good. DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is also a source for information, including technical, educational and financial assistance for cities, town, counties, tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and schools in Washington state.

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