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Benefits of Trees

Trees not only cool the land and clean the air; they provide valuable protection from tropical storms. From Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike on the Gulf Coast to "Superstorm" Sandy that recently struck the northeastern United States, climate scientists predict these kinds of powerful storms will occur with greater frequency in the future.

The Texas Forest Service estimated Houston's eight county region to have 663 million trees in 2010, which may have been reduced by as much as 10 percent, or 66 million trees, in 2011 due to severe drought. Serious drought conditions may also affect regions of the United States with greater frequency and severity.

The extreme loss of trees in the region, which is a continuation of a long term decline over the past century, leaves Houston more vulnerable to storms and dirty air. Prior to 2011, trees have removed over 60,000 tons of air pollution per year.

Trees make us cooler and provide habitat for wildlife. They provide protection from the sun for children when playing outdoors. Trees increase property values, make communities more walkable, and improve the aesthetic qualities of the city.

The goal of Houston Cool is to improve education about the benefits of trees in Houston schools and communities through hands-on student projects and community celebrations.

View a study by the U.S. Forest Service and the Texas Forest Service: Houston's Regional Forest Report

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