Climate adaptation: the importance of trees in the challenge against climate change

Klimaatadaptie in de stad - GreenMax

There is no denying that the climate is changing. While the problems posed by climate change – think floods, drought, heat and more – are well identified, the solution is not yet concrete. There are many different opinions on what is or is not the best solution to climate change.

What is climate adaptation?

To mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, climate adaptation has become a hot topic in the world of sustainability. Climate adaptation means that we adapt our living environment to climate change. This includes strengthening dykes, widening rivers and creating green, future-proof cities. Climate adaptation is high on the agenda of many government agencies to protect our living environment as well as possible against the negative effects of climate change.

Trees and climate adaptation

Trees are an important component in applying climate adaptation in the urban environment. Here’s why:

  1. Trees can cool air by 2 to 8°C. By strategically placing trees, they provide shade and cooling. Therefore, they are excellent natural air conditioners in the city.
  2. Trees reduce peak discharge during (heavy) precipitation. A mature tree can collect more than 15,000 liters of water per year. Trees placed in a tree bunker system, in particular, have great capacity to collect rainwater. This reduces the load on the sewer system and the risk of flooding.
  3. Trees absorb CO2 and keep the air clean. Mature trees can even absorb up to 150 kg of CO2 per year. In addition, trees also absorb other pollutant gases, such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone. The tree removes fine particles (particulate matter) from the air and retains them on its leaves and bark. This will make the air in cities cleaner and healthier.
  4. Trees increase biodiversity. They provide plants and animals with pleasant habitat, food and protection. Plants and animals will therefore establish themselves more quickly in a green city.

The following applies to the benefits that trees bring: the bigger the tree, the greater the effect.

Climate adaptation and trees - GreenMax

Besides the positive effects of trees on climate, they also bring benefits to other important issues:

  • Trees have a positive effect on mental and physical well-being. People living near urban green spaces are more active and experience less stress.
  • Trees provide social cohesion. In a green space in the city, such as a city park, many people gather to enjoy the sun or get some fresh air.
  • Trees contribute to the prosperity of a city. Green can increase property values by at least 20%.

Trees: are they the ultimate solution to climate problems?

So, are trees the best solution to mitigate climate change? We believe that there is not one solution, but several solutions to the many climate problems. Nevertheless, trees play a crucial role in the fight against climate change; they cool cities, reduce the risk of flooding, increase biodiversity and combat air pollution. Mature, functional trees are the most natural solution for limiting the effects of climate change in the public space.

Creating a climate adaptive city

Are you ready to tackle the climate challenges in your city? GreenMax is happy to support and advise you on green and infrastructure projects. Make an appointment with one of our advisers and find out how to make your city climate adaptive with our green solutions.

I want to make my city climate adaptive