LETTER: Urban trees’ benefits outweigh their risks

While we sympathize with those who fear accidental death, we were dismayed to read the letter “Wind storm highlights danger of trees in urban setting.” Homeowners already have the right to remove dangerous trees, though a permit may be required. The number of deaths from falling trees in our region is extremely low. We are all far more likely to die from cancer, heart disease or stroke, car accidents or even accidental falls.

Meanwhile, urban trees benefit our health and our cities in valuable ways: They clean the air (studies show less asthma in well-treed neighbourhoods), provide oxygen, cool the air, reduce wind, buffer sound, provide homes and food for birds and wildlife and reduce flooding from storm water — as well as storing carbon. Mature trees store exponentially more carbon than young trees do. People feel happier and less stressed in well-treed neighbourhoods. We need more urban trees, not less.

Grace Golightly

Saanich

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