We can all agree trees are cool. They have many talents, including playing an important role in cooling our cities and protecting us from extreme temperatures. We can think of them as nature’s air conditioners.
How do they do it?
Trees provide us with shade. Leaves and branches block the sun, providing comfortable places to read, have picnics with friends or take a break from the summer heat. Surfaces in the shade can be up to 11.7 °C cooler compared to surfaces in the sun.
Trees cool us down through transpiration. That’s just a fancy word for water evaporating from plants into the air, which cools the air around them. It’s similar to us sweating. The shade of a tree is cooler than the shade of a building because you are being cooled by both the tree’s shade and its transpiration.
Our communities are getting hotter, which means the cooling power of trees is more important than ever. In the Region of Peel, the number of extreme heat days (30 °C or hotter) is expected to double between 2041 and 2070 and triple between 2081 and 2100. Hot days will cause an increase in droughts, heat related ambulance calls, and risk of illnesses like Lyme disease.
How much difference can a tree make?
Trees make a big difference in our communities. A 2020 study by EcoHealth, specific to Brampton, shows that a 30 per cent increase in canopy cover could save $1.3 million in energy costs and cut health costs by 45 per cent. Trees have also been shown to decrease our stress levels, produce oxygen and clean our air and water. They’re basically modern-day superheroes.
We’re committed to making our watershed communities cleaner, greener and ready for climate change. This is why we started the Community Tree Project. This project is currently running in select Brampton neighborhoods where you can participate in tree planting, join virtual workshops or neighborhood walks and much more. Learn how to get involved.
By: CVC’s Nicole Di Cintio, Associate, Marketing and Communications