Tree Research

To help local tree advocates make the case for trees in their communities, ACTrees has compiled Benefits of Trees and Urban Forests: A Research List.  This research listing includes over 150 tree benefits and facts, ranging from the national to the hyper-local level, and all with complete scientific citations. This information tells the story of trees in dollars and cents, in pounds and percents, with compelling data about why maintaining and growing a healthy urban forest is a smart, sustainable investment. Learn more.

And check out other current research that may be of interest to those in the urban greening community. For a full list of research, visit the Research Archive.

Link Between Green Space And Well-Being Not So Clear Cut

By Le E. Saw, Felix K. S. Lim, and Luis R. Carrasco

Singapore (August 14, 2015) — A new study published in PLOS ONE finds that it’s not as simple as “nature makes people happy.” Scientists at the National University of Singapore surveyed students across the island state to determine the relationship between use of natural parks and self-reported well-being.

Estimating the Economic Value Of “Metro Nature” Benefits

By Kathleen L. Wolf, Marcus K. Measells, Stephen C. Grado, and Alicia S.T. Robbins

Seattle, WA (June 29, 2015) — The presence of greenspace and nature in metro areas allows for daily environmental interactions, and a substantial body of evidence demonstrates their benefits to physical health and well-being. Estimates of the economic values of these benefits, however, have lagged. New research estimates those values and estrapolates to a national scale.

Emerald Ash Borer: Urban Forest Canopy Loss and Landslide Potential

Pittsburgh, PA (July 31, 2015) — New research from the University of Pittsburgh models the effect of urban forest canopy loss from emerald ash borer on landslide susceptibility in Pittsburgh, PA. Examining changes in slope stability using geographic information systems showed urban canopy may be critical to hillslope stability.

Drought Shown To Prevent Trees From Fighting Climate Change

Princeton, NJ (July 30, 2015) — A new study shows that drought could compromise the ability of trees to protect us from climate change. Scientists have found that drought slows tree growth for many years beyond the initial dry spells, creating what researchers call a “drought legacy.”

Just 10 Trees On A City Block Boost Health And Vitality

By Omid Kardan, Peter Gozdyra, Bratislav Misic, Faisal Moola, Lyle J. Palmer, Tomáš Paus and Marc G. Berman

Chicago, IL (July 9, 2015) — Are urban trees the fountain of youth? A team of researchers present a compelling case for why urban neighborhoods filled with trees enhance physical health. The large study builds on a body of prior research showing the cognitive and psychological benefits of nature, but goes further by actually beginning to quantify just how much an addition of trees in a neighborhood enhances health outcomes.

Stanford Researchers Find Mental Health Prescription: Nature

Stanford, CA (June 30, 2015) — A Stanford-led study finds quantifiable evidence that walking in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression. The researchers conclude that it is essential for urban planners and other policymakers to understand the relationship between exposure to nature and mental health.

Urban Agriculture Boosts Health and Builds Community

Washington, DC (June 23, 2015) — A recent U.S. News article highlights how urban agriculture in the heart of several cities is proving the research on the value of community groves and farms. These initiatives are helping to improve the mental and physical health of residents and build safer communities.

Researchers Wire Madison, WI To Better Understand Urban Heat Islands

By Jason Schatz and Christopher J. Kucharik

Madison, WI (November 25, 2014) -  If you’re looking for a bit of relief as summer heat spreads across U.S. cities, science is on it. A study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison offers one of the most detailed records of the variation in temperature between cities and the surrounding rural areas, known as the urban heat island effect.

City Planning And Tree Planting Matter For Air Quality

By Joshua McCarty and Nikhil Kaza

Chapel Hill, NC (April 14, 2015) — Poor air quality is still a major issue affecting a large number of Americans. In new research, University of North Carolina researchers Nikhil Kaza and Josh McCarty describe how the way urban areas are built and landscaped can make a difference to local air quality.

Urban Green Space and Vibrant Communities

By Edward A. Stone, JunJie Wu, and Ralph Alig

Portland, OR (April 2015) — A new report investigates the interactions between household location decisions and community characteristics, including green space. Neighborhoods or communities that have well-managed green space programs are more attractive to residents, a two-way interaction that tends to be self-reinforcing.