(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the USDA Forest Service found that each tree planted significantly reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease among people living near the planting site. The study was published in the journal Environment International.
Scientists analyzed data from a well-documented tree planting campaign that took place in Portland, Oregon, USA, between 1990 and 2019. During this time, the non-profit group planted 49,246 trees on the streets of the city.
In doing so, they kept records of where and when each tree was planted. This allowed scientists to link these data to mortality rates due to cardiovascular, respiratory diseases, or other causes.
Lower death rates were observed in areas with more tree plantings, especially among men and the elderly.
The study found that the connection also gets stronger as the trees get taller. Trees planted in the previous 1-5 years were associated with a 15% reduction in mortality, and trees planted in the previous 11-15 years were associated with a 30% reduction.
The authors did not consider the reasons for this effect, but suggested that it is associated with a decrease in temperature and noise, as well as air pollution.
In addition, the authors of the study concluded that the annual economic benefits of planting trees exceed the cost of maintaining them by more than a thousand times.
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