Have you ever been outside and gotten the overwhelming urge to take your shoes off and stick your bare feet in the grass? Maybe you’re drawn to a certain tree that just brings a smile to your face whenever you see it bringing back memories of when it served as the home base for many a game of tag.
Thinking back to the beginning of lockdown last year, the one place that everyone was drawn to was the outside. Picnics in the park, walks at the beach, fixing up an outdoor living space to safely host friends and family, being able to be outside was something that many people may have taken for granted pre-COVID.
If the past year taught us anything, it’s shown that being outside brings people joy, and there have been many studies that show correlations between exposure to nature and happiness. Here at, Rob Cerra Landscape Construction, we’re all about bringing joy to people in the form of transforming their outdoor living space.
Trees are important for so many reasons. From creating shade, to providing a home for birds and the ever-pesky squirrel that you might have a stand-off with every spring, to their most important role of producing oxygen, there’s some less concrete benefits of trees that play a huge role in our lives as well.
Exposure to nature helps decrease stress, anxiety, and helps open up the creative sides of our brains. A 2018 study took 585 Japanese young adults and had them make note of their moods after walking for 15 minutes in a city setting versus in a forest. Taking place in 52 different locations around the country, all participants reported having less anxiety, hostility, and fatigue walking in the forest or nature setting as opposed to the city setting. You may read this and think “Well, obviously, you don’t have someone honking angrily at you in the forest” but it’s more than that.
In a different Japanese study, elderly patients suffering from COPD experienced better immune function after they visited forests as opposed to urban areas and we understand that there are more factors than just the simple presence of trees, but the importance of the trees being there is simple. Trees make people slow down. They make people walk a little slower, breathe a little deeper, look up at the sky instead of down at their feet as they fight through the hustle and bustle of a city. Trees in neighborhoods evoke a sense of safety and calm, trees in a park provide shade and the sounds of birds. Simply, we take trees for granted, and if The Lorax taught us anything, it’s that we should give them more credit before it’s too late.
So, before you run out frantically searching for a lemon tree or an avocado tree to make your outdoor space functional in addition to aesthetically pleasing, remember to do your research on the types of trees that will fare best in your environment!
Classic New Englanders need to look no further for a sign that they should plant a Dogwood tree or save that American Holly from being torn up, but there are trees for all tastes and spaces!
Small outdoor living space? Consider Witch Hazel! These trees thrive in both small and large environments and can tolerate the ever changing weather patterns that New England brings.
Big space that needs filling? Black Locust is for you. With mid-spring flowers, this tree transforms again late in the season, sending yellow feather-like leaves swirling around the ground beneath them.
More shade than sun in your space? The Redbud tree is calling your name! Sitting on the smaller side, the redbud trees heart shaped leaves turn yellow in the fall, bringing out the beautiful New England Foliage people travel from far and wide to experience.
Not sure what types of trees will work best but know you need some shade in your space? That’s what we’re here for! Our team is here to help you transform your space and make it functional while also being cognizant of the types of trees and plants that thrive in your growing zone. Reach out today!