Big Trees May Promote Safety in Cities

The Boston Common and Public Garden are both beautiful parts of the city to explore and visit. They’re full of people, flowers, animals and trees. Without trees our parks wouldn’t be complete, and we could not have a better group of arborists and friends at the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to help maintain the health of our trees.

A recent study by the U.S. Forest Service shows that trees may actually be a crime-fighting presence in big cities–even more reason to love them. The report focused on neighborhoods in the city of Portland, Oregon to examine the correlation between big trees and crime. Using aerial maps, Geoffrey Donovan and his team of researchers analyzed the rate of violent crimes in areas according to tree coverage. Over the course of two years, Donovan noticed that geographic locations with large trees were less likely to have violent crimes.

After conducting the study Donovan stated, “We wanted to find out whether trees, which provide a range of other benefits, could improve quality of life in Portland by reducing crime, and it was exciting to see that they did. Although a burglar alarm may deter criminals, it won’t provide shade on a hot summer day, and it certainly isn’t as nice to look at as a tree.” It’s great to hear that trees offer a safe presence, especially in larger cities. Not only can trees provide nature in an urban setting, they may even help keep residents safe!


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