Summer means concerts and picnics Central Park. Trees have the largest impact on health in urban areas. Credit: Getty Images
All those trees taking up precious sidewalk real estate are earning their keep.
In the first nationwide study of trees’ impact on air pollution, the U.S. Forest Service found that trees save more than 850 lives annually and prevent 670,000 serious respiratory complications.
Though trees only contributed to an average air quality improvement of less than 1 percent, they are responsible for an estimated savings of $6.8 billion annually in health spending, according to the study.
Pollution has been linked to problems with lung, heart and blood vessel function, as well as neurological issues.
Show your appreciation
For each new member who joins the Arbor Day Foundation this month, the group will plant 10 trees in a high-need forest to repair damage from wildfires, insects and disease. For more information, click here. Memberships are $10 for six months or $15 for one year.