Want to shorten your life & be unhappy?… cut down trees.

Well, that was harsh.  But research has shown that it’s true.

treed-street-2I’ve talked about my frustration with my neighbor cutting down all of the trees in her backyard, and then (as if a “tree-hating virus” had attacked the street) my other neighbor cut down healthy trees too!  We were all heartbroken at this senselessness, but there was little we could do to stop the insanity.

I wish I could have shared the results of the latest research with them before the chainsaws-went-to-town.  We all know how environmentally important trees are – for providing oxygen and shade, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil and supporting wildlife (as both food and habitat), but the latest research has found that trees actually make people live longer and feel happier… and that doesn’t really surprise me.

According to studies:  (1) treed streets have a lower rate of crime, (2) residents have happier relationships and (3) perform better in tests; (4) trees help us to psychologically rejuvenate and they even (5) impact our “physical, psychological and social well-being”; (6) residents live longer and (7) have an overall better health and (8) children behave better in a “nature setting” than in a treeless area, especially those with an attention dtree-hugeficit concern… all I can say is “amazing”.   The research even showed that those with less access to green space (even if only a nearby park) have a shorter attention span, poor management of major life issues and poor impulse control.

I’m definitely not a supporter of money spent frivolously on silly research but I admittedly like that these studies support what I’ve suspected all along:  aside from the environmental importance of our precious trees, they truly have an altering effect on our well-being.

Today, I’m asking you to… hug a tree, love a tree, feel grateful for every tree you see… and please, don’t cut the healthy ones down… because they have a greater impact on our lives than we ever realized.

*(tree hug photo:  Jim Sabo)

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10 thoughts on “Want to shorten your life & be unhappy?… cut down trees.

  1. another fine post, my lorax friend! :) seriously, we all know the benefits of trees providing oxygen and cutting down on green house gases but I was fascinated to read the other statistics you posted. too bad we couldn’t have organized a cyber-demonstration of chaining ourselves to your neighbors’ trees so they couldn’t be cut down!

  2. Kimberly – believe me, I was as fascinated as you… that’s why I had to share! I’m proud to be a tree-hugger!!! :)

  3. I have to agree with Kimberly in your Lorax-ness! I know I’m happier when I walk down a street that has lots of trees! We planted a new tree in our front yard last year, and while the price tag didn’t make me smile, the fact that we have a nicely sized maple there that will bring years of enjoyment and all of those other stats, makes me very happy.

    I noticed yesterday that in the process of widening a road in front of my development, they took out an entire row of large trees. It made me VERY unhappy.

  4. Frannie – I agree… I DO feel better when surrounded by trees and doesn’t an established neighborhood filled with trees feel so much happier and “warmer” than a new development that had every tree in site bulldozed before the construction began?! We planted a Japanese Cherry tree in our yard a few years ago and have LOVED watching it become bigger and more beautiful as the years pass!

  5. I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!

    And really… didn’t we all know it? If we all slowed down, and looked. REALLY looked. In our hearts, didn’t we know it?

    Thanks for clarifying it, Dor. And for standing up and speaking out!

    I’m proud of you.

    And I always knew that too.

  6. Hercules – yep, we both knew it! And thank you, sugar! It’s great to be on this mission with you! You got my back, and ditto, baby!

  7. Pingback: » A Happy and Green New Year… from A to Z! - Mom Goes Green

  8. Our neighbor (we live in a completely rural area) is cutting down ALL of her trees. She says so that she can make money from them and put in a pond. My question is, if you live in the country, WHY WOULD YOU CUT DOWN YOUR TREES??? If she wants to live in a city, she should live in a city, not try to make her area look like a city lot. It wouldn’t bother me so much but now we have to see her area. That’s why we moved to the country, so we wouldn’t have to see our neighbors and their daily lives.

  9. Hi Doreen,

    Want to protect trees? Do what Toronto did in 2008. Tree cutting even on private property is subject to a fee in Toronto. Follow this link http://www.toronto.ca/faq/trees.htm#q8 to learn about Toronto’s tree ordinance. Perhaps we should all try to pass such an ordinance in our towns. (Article 813, City of Toronto)

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