Street Trees

Street trees are an integral component of the urban environment and provide tangible benefits to the urban environment. Their shade and beauty contribute to the quality of life by softening the hard appearance of buildings and infrastructure (i.e., utilities, roadways, etc.). They improve real estate values, create attractive settings for commercial businesses, and enhance neighborhood appeal. Trees decrease energy consumption by providing shade and acting as windbreaks. They reduce water treatment costs and impede soil erosion by absorbing and slowing stormwater runoff. Street trees cool and remove pollutants from the air and produce oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide. For these reasons and more, municipalities should encourage or require the provision of street trees as part of new land developments and new construction. Street trees also need to be proactively managing and maintained for them to continue their aesthetic and ecological functions.

Advantages

The provision of municipal street trees is associated with the following advantages:

Limitations

The provision of municipal street trees is associated with the following challenges:

How to Use This Tool

Requirements for the installation of street trees in new developments could be incorporated into municipal ordinance language. The introductory paragraph to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code empowers all municipalities in Chester County to enact ordinances that, among other things, promote the conservation of energy, and street trees can assist in this area.

Additional Considerations

Examples

Related References

Landscapes2 Relevance

The actions described in this tool are consistent with the goal for Natural Resources as presented in Chapter 5 of Landscapes2.