Trees are a critical component of our ecosystem: They can produce the food we eat, oxygen that we breathe, shade from the sun, and so much more. Trees are an important and recognizable part of landscapes and forests, but most people don't think about the importance of trees and their value to the landscapes. Furthermore, most people don't notice the condition of trees – that is, whether the trees are healthy, diseased, or in a state of decline – but tree health is crucial to a landscape.
Through this activity, students will become more aware of the condition of plants in their surroundings. More specifically, students will learn to:
- recognize visible indications of healthy versus unhealthy trees,
- collect data and make observations to assess tree health, and
- use an online tree benefit calculator to approximate the benefits, in dollars, of their selected trees in terms of stormwater mitigation, property value, energy savings, air quality, and atmospheric carbon.
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