The Importance of Privately Owned Trees in the Urban Forest
The Urban forest is the ecosystem containing all of the trees, plants and associated animals in the urban environment, both in and around the city - Sands 2005. Trees provide a range of beneficial services that are of particular importance in the urban environment. Improving air quality, storm water attenuation, providing shade and cooling, store carbon, and trees alongside buildings can act as a secondary insulation layer regulating temperatures around buildings, cooling in summer and warmer in winter. Trees provide fruit and nuts for wildlife and humans, nectar for birds & insects, habitats for insects, birds and mammals in our cities. They are also important habitat for humans - bringing a sense of place, maturity and human scale to townscapes. Tree lined streets have proven to increase property prices by as much as 15%and most people chose to live around trees where possible. As more than 60% of land is privately owned the role of homeowners in the Urban Forest cannot be over estimated.