7 Reasons You Should Think Twice Before Cutting Down Trees

Amber Guetebier
Written by Amber Guetebier
Updated March 28, 2022
A residential home with trees in the front yard
Photo: adamkaz / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty images

It cuts both ways

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From the mighty maple to the evergreen forests, trees provide us with food, fuel, endless beauty, and the very air we breathe. In short, we cannot imagine our lives without them. While removing a tree is sometimes necessary—like when a dead tree is dangerous—there are plenty of reasons not to cut them down. Here are a few. 

1. Trees Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Oxygen 

We all know that humans (and almost all living things) need oxygen. Trees use photosynthesis to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, in one day, one large tree can produce a day’s supply of oxygen for four humans. 

2. Trees Clean the Air

A large tree in the backyard of a modern house
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Trees can store carbon dioxide in their fibers, which can reduce the negative effects of carbon dioxide on the environment. The Arbor Day Foundation says that in just one year a single, mature tree could actually absorb over 48 pounds of carbon dioxide. Since carbon dioxide is the lead contributor to greenhouse gasses, this is a critical role in fighting against global warming. And of course, the trees release oxygen in exchange.

3. Trees Contain Medicine

Trees around the world have been shown to contain vital, active ingredients and healing properties that have long been used in cultures around the world as medicine. Many of these are now also the building blocks of modern medicine. The bark of the Pacific yew tree (Taxus) is an ingredient in a chemotherapy drug. And it’s well known that the bark of the willow tree contains an active ingredient (salicin) that acts much the same as aspirin as a pain reliever. 

The cutting down of trees not only in our own backyards but in rainforests and large areas where deforestation is a huge issue means that we are threatening our own future medicine chest. It’s possible that we are cutting down plants and trees that contain the key to fighting global diseases and epidemics.

4. Trees Provide Beauty

It may seem like an obvious thing, but whether it’s a home in the countryside or a tree-lined street in the heart of the city, having a tree to look at just changes your outlook, literally and figuratively. That beauty comes with good news for your home’s value, too. Healthy trees can increase your home’s property value. In fact, a mature tree can add value between $1,000 and $10,000, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.

5. Trees Provide an Energy Break

A large tree in the front of a red brick house
Photo: DebraLee Wiseberg / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

A mature tree not only provides cool shade to lounge under on a hot day in the summer, but it can also lower your overall energy bill. As long as your tree is close enough to your house to provide a significant amount of shade it can reduce the amount you need to run your air conditioning in the summer by keeping it a little cooler. But trees can also help keep your home a bit warmer in the winter by providing a windbreak, especially if you consider evergreens. 

6. Trees Provide Connection to Nature 

Even if you live in the middle of the suburbs or the heart of a bustling city block, trees can provide you and those around you with a connection to nature. Being able to listen to the rustle of the wind through the leaves or watch the change of seasons can keep you connected even when a walk in the woods can’t happen. Plus, those squirrels and birds are pretty cute, right?

7. Trees Provide Habitats 

Speaking of nature, a single tree doesn’t just house a single bird. You’ll find it can be home to quite a few critters and is a hotbed of excitement. From buzzing bees to gentle butterflies to chippy chipmunks and busy birds, even one tree can support the habitat of woodland creatures to keep you entertained for seasons. 

If you’re worried that your tree is unhealthy or you're considering cutting it down, consult with a nearby tree care service first. Finding someone who specializes in tree care should be the first step, as you may well find someone who can save your tree and bring it back to life. The cost of hiring a tree care service is generally significantly lower than the cost of tree removal.

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