Benefits of Trees

Trees are a part of our community infrastructure and are vital to our personal and environmental health; and they are working for us all the time. Trees are a legacy we plant and leave for many generations. Trees are a big reason why the quality of life, business climate, and sense of place in Greenville County is so strong.

Trees Help Us Clean The Air

Tree leaves filter pollutants and even absorb dirty air. Particulate pollution like dust is deposited on the leaves.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen for us to breathe. Trees cool the air by releasing moisture into the air through a process called transpiration. By shading and cooling the ground, trees reduce the formation of ground-level ozone, which reacts with sunlight and heat to become very harmful.

100 mature trees remove up to 5 tons of CO2 per year

100 mature trees remove about 1,000 lbs of air pollutants per year, including:

-400 lbs of ground-level ozone

-300 lbs of particulate matter

Read Trees: The Air Pollution Solution (USDA Forest Service, Center for Urban Forest Research) for more information.

Trees Help Clean Our Water

By holding rainfall on the leaves and branches, trees make the threats of flooding less likely. The tree roots also absorb water and hold soil in place so that it is not washed away in severe storms.

Water is cleaned as it passes through the roots and into the groundwater. We can save water on irrigation when there is a tree shading the lawns that we water.

100 mature trees catch about 250,000 gallons of rainwater per year, which decreases polluted runoff and decreases soil and hill erosion

Trees Save Energy

By shading buildings and minimizing the need for air conditioning in the hot summer months, we reduce our energy use.

In addition to direct shade on buildings, trees cool entire neighborhoods by releasing moisture into the air and shading surfaces like parking lots and streets that hold heat in the sun.

In the winter, trees can help reduce heating costs by slowing the wind.

Trees can save up to 30% in cooling costs each year

Trees can save 10-25% of energy used for heating each year.

An additional 100,000 trees strategically planted in Greenville County could save $1 million in energy savings!

These are just a few of the many great things trees do for us. Visit the South Carolina Forestry Commission’s page on The Benefits of Trees for more information.


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Joelle Teachey
Executive Director
P.O. Box 9232
Greenville, SC 29604
Tel: 864-313-0765

Trees are hope for the future