Trees are natural air conditioners and do a brilliant job at mitigating heat build-up in our urban environment. Urban areas provide huge heat sinks where heat builds up and is often re-radiated for hours into the night. The correlation is simple, the less trees and green space we have in city and residential areas, the hotter they become. There is often a temperature spike of as much as 3-5 degrees celsius between areas where there are fewer trees compared to areas where there are more trees.
A recent study issued by Perth’s Curtin University, indicates that “urban heat island effects” are being created as trees are being removed to make way for more housing in many parts of Perth. The study makes the point that while infill housing is required, we must be very careful about how we integrate trees and green space. Clearly trees and development must go together or we will have a hotter and less hospitable city to live in. Less trees also means ever greater reliance on air conditioning and bigger energy bills.
All of us from civic planners to individual property owners have a responsibility to maintain and plant more trees. This goes to the core of what sort of Perth we want for the future. We know that we face a long term warming trend, so trees are perhaps the most important tool we have to cool our city. More trees Please! Apart from mitigating summer heat loads, trees have huge benefits in making our city a more desirable and pleasant place, improving the quality of our environment, purifying our air and improving human health.
Clearly the time to act is now! There’s a very wise Chinese proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree was yesterday!” So let’s rise to the challenge! Plant now for the future. At Dawson’s we have a wonderful range of trees, ideal for modern gardens, visit us today and start your tree change.