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Trees for Life Four: Money Grows on Trees

By Marcela Andre

The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day, according to the US Department of Agriculture. There is so much to say about tree benefits that this is an interactive article. Please use links to see documentation of great research, science, and the intrinsically important aesthetic value of trees.

“Money Grows on Trees,” a conceptual art piece done at Andre Gallery by this writer, is actually a scientific truth. A tree’s value is US$193,000 per Professor T.M. Das of the University of Calcutta. A tree living for 50 years will generate US$31,250 worth of oxygen, provide US$62,000 worth of air pollution control, and counter soil degradation equivalent to US$31,250. A tree recycles US$37,500 worth of water and provides US$31,250 as homes for animals creating pest and noise control. Mesquite trees are “nanny trees” that help 65 other living beings. ( If that sounds exaggerated, consider that the US Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers have a formula to calculate tree-worth using measures and location. One-meter diameter trees are worth US$120,000 or more, The USDA tree-value methods are found at the website

House values are increased 6 to 30 percent with trees; cooling and heating costs are lowered by thousands of dollars. Quality-of-life intangible aspects promote a contented home ambiance. Harvard research on 110,000 women found those living in the greenest areas had a 12 percent lower non-accidental death rate and reduced death rates from respiratory illness and cancer, as opposed to women living without trees or plants. (

Rain insures new trees an easy and fast start to grow roots and gain stature. This is the perfect time to plant trees in San Miguel. When you plant a tree, soak the hole with an overnight drip of water or fill it entirely, allowing it to seep in several times. Put in compost, plant the tree in the evening with another watering, and watch it grow fast. Plan for hotter days and plant a tree. (

Trees create business traffic. Here is a wonderful brochure with 21 other great benefits: A generous grant to cool Los Angeles with trees is cash for recipients doing plantings with an ongoing UCLA study to reduce urban heat islands. (

The reality of an increasing carbon footprint in San Miguel de Allende can be counteracted with trees and right living. There is an award to honor these efforts, but only one recipient in Mexico. His name is Francisco Toledo. He was rewarded for devoting himself and his art to the protection and enhancement of the heritage, environment, and community life of his native Oaxaca. ( Grants for planting trees and offsetting San Miguel de Allende’s carbon footprints, with UN support, are available now at To get to know and identify some Mexican trees, the fabulous National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) biology department’s easy tree guide is here:


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