To the editor:

In previous Arbor Day letters, I've emphasized the economic value of our urban forest. Certainly, it's the only resource in our infrastructure that appreciates over time. However, this Arbor Day, with the despoiling of planet Earth in the daily news, it behooves me to discuss the environmental contributions of trees.Trees in our city forest provide much needed shade during hot summers. On a tree-lined street or in our parks, temperatures can be as much as 25 degrees cooler on a still summer day than in an open area. Properly placed trees around our homes can result in a savings on utility bills.

Over the last decade, foresters and city planners have begun to recognize the effectiveness of trees in reducing air pollution. The 1 million trees that Los Angeles planted in 1984 for the Olympics will absorb approximately 200 tons of dust and smoke form the air on a daily basis by the year 2000.

Trees also provide for privacy and noise abatement. They give us color, motion and seasonal change. Few other resources give us so much for so little of an investment.

The challenge we face this Arbor Day, April 28, is one of attitude and action. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Communities and residents throughout Utah must continue to put an increased emphasis on their trees by planting more of them and maintaining them properly.

Arbor Day is a day of action where tree planting makes an optimistic statement about our future.

Lloyd Siegendorf


Salt Lake Urban Forestry Board