Plant a Tree This Earth Day!

Kenneth P. LaValle

April 04, 2013

by Kenneth P. LaValle - NY State Senator

Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on our region, cut power to millions of homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio and disrupted the presidential campaign.

The storm also ravaged trees and greenery around our homes and neighborhoods, and we’re just beginning to see the long term damage some trees and shrubs suffered While seemingly intact, many trees are shocked and brown from the lashing by hurricane-force, salt laden winds. Some probably won’t survive.

Thousands upon thousands of trees were lost on Long Island, but we now have a chance to restore what was lost. Long Island’s trees and shrubs help reduce storm water runoff, prevent soil erosion, provide habitat and shade, beautify the landscape and protect our bays and harbors.

This year, April 22 is Earth Day and April 26 is Arbor Day – the perfect time to plant a tree to replace one that was lost.

In addition to restoring our landscape there is an economic benefit to having a host of healthy trees in our region.

· In 50 years one tree recycles more than $37,000 worth of water, provides $31,000 worth of erosion control, $62,000 worth of air pollution control, and produces $37,000 worth of oxygen

· Well placed trees help cut energy costs and consumption by decreasing air conditioning costs 10-50% and reducing heating costs as much as 4-22%

· Trees increase property values by 5 to 20% due to their landscaping value

· Trees are good noise barriers, making cities and neighborhoods quieter places to live

· Trees enhance the aesthetics of our environment

· Trees help prevent city flooding by catching raindrops and offsetting runoff caused by buildings and parking lots. One large tree can intercept more than 1000 gallons of water annually

· Trees provide privacy, highlight views or screen them, and reduce glare

There is a Chinese proverb that says: “One generation plants the trees under whose shade future generations rest.”

Join me Earth Day week and plant a tree!