The world is still debating whether or not mass tree plantings can really help with climate change. There’s no denying that huge expanses of trees will act as carbon sinks, but the counter argument is that dense forests in certain parts of the world will actually absorb heat, causing those regions to warm even faster. Plus, much of the land designated for tree planting is already home to other plants that are already playing an important environmental role – removing them to plant trees is definitely counterintuitive.
In terms of large-scale tree planting, there’s so much to consider. However, when it comes to your home environment, could planting a few garden trees really help to lessen the impact of climate change? The answer is yes. Here’s how:
Garden Trees Can Keep Your Home Cool
Many parts of Australia already experience scorching summer temperatures, and experts predict double the amount of those sweltering 40℃+ days by 2050. Granted, you have a few options when it comes to cooling your home, but most require some form of power, and therefore money.
This is where trees can be a huge game-changer. Just two medium-sized trees planted on the north side of your home can lower the temperature indoors by quite a few degrees. Even more appealing is the fact that those trees will also be absorbing carbon dioxide, which can actually extend the lifespan of your house’s paint job. Even if you don’t have a big garden, a couple of mature trees grown in large GRC pots will have the same effect.
Garden Trees Can Prevent Flooding
It’s predicted that storms will become even more common as climate change progresses, putting your home at an increased risk of flooding. This is another area in which trees excel – they’re able to soak up around 40% of the rainwater that they come into contact with. Strategically positioning those roots around your home will keep your ground drier, saving your home from catastrophic floods.
Garden Trees Can Reduce the Spread of Wildfires
Wildfires are an increasing problem in Australia. They’re no longer exclusive to rural areas – they’re now hitting urban centres as well, meaning that no one is safe.
Many assume that trees will only make wildfires worse, but the opposite is true. Certain trees have leaves that aren’t flammable – they’ll help to stop the flames from spreading, while also sheltering your home from any embers. Take the Glauca Grass Tree, for example. Its leaves have a waxy coating that can resist flames. However, even if a fire does take hold of a Grass Tree, it will more than likely survive. It’ll be one of the first plants in your garden to return after a fire, and, rather than struggling to adapt, it’ll feed off the other burnt plant material in your garden to grow bigger than ever before.
Are Trees the Answer to Climate Change?
While a few extra trees in your garden aren’t going to halt climate change in its tracks, they’ll still have a big impact on how climate change affects you and your home. They’ll keep you shaded, cool, and safe as temperatures continue to rise, allowing you to live a much healthier life.