Guardian Trees

How Nature reduces violence

Guardian Trees - How Nature reduces violence

Researchers from the U.S. Forest Service now believe some urban trees may reduce property crimes and acts of violence. The study, recently published in Science Daily, is based on research from neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon. By analyzing two years worth of police reports, and recording various neighborhood characteristics from aerial maps and on the ground observations, researchers concluded that areas with large trees in both front and backyards experience lower levels of crime. “We believe that large street trees can reduce crime by signaling to a potential criminal that a neighborhood is better cared for, and, therefore, a criminal is more likely to be caught,” explains Geoffrey Donovan, one of the study’s researchers. While large trees are associated with reduced crime however, the researchers also found that smaller trees, which act as view obstructers, might encourage lawbreaking because they make criminal acts less easy to detect. Nevertheless, if an improved quality of life is what you’re searching for, it may be worthwhile to take this correlation between large, old trees and lower rates of criminal activity into consideration.

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