By Gerard Nolan
The tree canopy along Platypus Creek provides a much needed cooling effect in the heat of summer. This shading or cooling effect is very important in reducing the surrounding temperature and making the conditions more pleasant for walking. Trees provide a similar cooling role whether in your street, in your yard or in a bush reserve. Even a small increase in canopy cover can increase the cooling effect.
Local governments are becoming more conscious of the benefits of street trees, as research finds tree canopy in the urban environment has important cooling and air filtering effects, as well as amenity benefits. For instance, the streets with 28 per cent canopy coverage in Annandale were found to be 4 degrees cooler than streets with 20 per cent canopy coverage.
Established research confirms that the addition of trees in the urban environment is one of the most effective ways of dealing with the effects of the Urban Heat Island. Trees through the process of transpiration help reduce day and night temperatures in the built up areas especially during summer. Trees provide shade for suburban streets and footpaths and their leaves absorb and reflect sunlight. A shaded house needs less air conditioning in summer reducing energy bills.