Watch CBS News

Environmental Benefits Of Planting Trees

By Alaina Brandenburger

To celebrate the release of the eco-concious 2017 CT6 Plug-In, Cadillac embarked on a 31-mile drive through Silicon Beach which highlighted some of the most environmentally friendly locations in the Golden State. Check out the video above and be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page for part two of the journey.

Planning for a more eco-friendly future has become a key goal for the city of Los Angeles, as the mayor and other leaders in the community plan to make the city more environmentally friendly. Residents of Los Angeles and the surrounding area are taking it upon themselves to help achieve this goal. One simple step residents can and have taken to help the environment is to plant trees.

Aiding Los Angeles in this endeavor, Cadillac volunteers teamed up with actor Paul Wesley and local members of the community to plant 25 new oak trees in Downtown LA's Los Angeles State Historic Park on June 13th. These oaks are native to the area, feature a great deal of historic value, are drought-adapted and will help support a more green environment for years to come.

Cadillac has also collaborated with American Forests to create the Golden State Reforestation Initiative. This initiative will aid in the restoration of the Eldorado National Forest, which suffered 64,000 acres worth of damage during the King Fire of 2014.

If you are looking to make a difference yourself, try planting trees of your own to positively impact the environment in the following ways.

Trees Absorb Some Harmful Gasses

It is widely known that trees produce oxygen, but they also help to absorb harmful compounds in the air, including carbon dioxide. According to North Carolina State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, "One large tree can supply a day's supply of oxygen for four people. A healthy tree can store 13 pounds of carbon each year - for an acre of trees that equals to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide." By planting a single tree, you can help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Trees Can Help Offset Urban Heating

In large cities, where there is a high concentration of concrete and asphalt, temperatures are higher due to the "heat island effect." Concrete, asphalt, buildings and other structures absorb heat and trap it in a small area. In hot, arid climates, including much of the Los Angeles area, this just makes the sweltering heat worse. Planting trees in urban areas helps offset this effect. In an EPA blog post titled, "Using Trees and Vegetation to Offset Heat Islands," this is explained: "Trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. Shaded surfaces, for example, may be 20–45°F (11–25°C) cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials."

Trees Can Improve Mental Health

Recently, many psychological studies have been conducted on the benefits of exercising in nature. Being around trees and other wildlife has been proven to have a positive effect on wellbeing. A blog post on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation titled "Immerse Yourself in a Forest For Better Health" states, "Numerous studies show that both exercising in forests and simply sitting looking at trees reduces blood pressure as well as the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline." If you're a home owner, planting trees in your yard can help you create a place to reduce your stress.

They Support An Ecosystem

Many species of wildlife rely on trees for food and shelter, making them a vital component of the ecosystem. Even dead trees have benefits to the community, according to Conservation Northwest. According to a Conservation Northwest article titled "Snag Trees And Healthy Ecosystems," "The insulation of a tree trunk home allows wildlife to survive high summer and low winter temperature extremes. Tree cavities and loose bark are used by many animals to store their food supplies."

These are just some of the benefits recognized by planting trees in the community. Trees are also easy on the eyes and make the landscape more appealing. If you're interested in reducing your carbon footprint and making the ecosystem in your neighborhood better, consider planting a tree or two.

Cadillac CT6 PLUG-IN'S Dare to Make A Difference Journey with Paul Wesley by CBS Los Angeles on YouTube
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.