Mark Kivner, a science and environment reporter with the BBC News, has written about a new report released by the Woodland Trust highlighting the importance of the urban canopy to the health of cities and their inhabitants.
The report discusses the decline in tree cover across the UK, and the attendant problems that have resulted — everything from an increase in air pollution, flooding, and wildlife habitats, to physical and mental health problems among city denizens. The report is being used partly to garner support for a movement to replenish the trees currently being lost, and to ensure that city inhabitants have access to green spaces.
Along with an increase in paved/built areas has come more frequent and more damaging flooding problems. This is an area where trees can also be of huge assistance, absorbing rain water on-site and retaining it for future use. Of course, in order to grow trees that can make this kind of significant ecological contribution, they need to have access to appropriately large soil volumes — usually upwards of 28 cubic meters per tree (less if they can share soil).
The Woodland Trust’s new campaign, More Trees More Good, intends to plant 20m native trees in the UK over the next 50 years. Let’s hope those trees are planted in conditions that set them up for success.