Trees Change Climate

We need more trees, everywhere!

Loss of tree canopy is one of the main reasons that climate change has become so severe.  Whichever side of the fence you are on, we all must admit that the climate is changing, and not for the better. When USDA Plant Zones change then we know that something very alarming is happening.  Historically, South Florida was in Zone 10B.  We are now Zone 11.  Many other areas of the country have also changed.  Click the above link to see if yours has.

Overdevelopment is one of the driving factors.

In Florida overall and in South Florida specifically, our population is increasing at a rapid and unsustainable rate in many areas.  The collateral damage is often green spaces and forests that are clear cut to make room for more housing of all kinds.  When the cement and temperatures increase and tree canopy decreases, we essentially create a desert.  Even when trees are planted, it may take 10-20 years before any shade or true mitigation is created.  We can’t buy back time and when a mature tree is leveled, we have just lost several decades.

How bad is it?

Consider this headline from the Miami-Herald Newspaper yesterday: Miami-Dade County’s urban tree project unable to shade residents from record heat.

I highly recommend reading this article to truly comprehend what we are up against.  It will both astound you and hopefully, open your eyes to this dilemma all around us as another Florida summer fast approaches.

More trees everywhere is the solution…

But unfortunately, there are some irrational fears surrounding the planting of trees, even though most people know their benefits.  We all need to do more to influence our friends, neighbors, and local governments to plant more trees and to protect them at all costs.  We all need to let our voices be heard at city commission meetings, and write letters to our representatives.  If we don’t, the developers will keep having their way with the trees, to our own demise.

It’s ironic that the main reason people flock to South Florida is for the sunshine, and now, because of the shortsightedness of city and county governments, that sunshine has now become a curse.  Without elected officials putting a stop to overdevelopment, there’s not much room, quite literally, for tree canopy.  As the article states, most of the available land is on private property, so we need to encourage all residents to plant more trees.

Trees are essential to the health of our planet and to each and every one of us.  Please, plant a tree this Earth Week and take action against tree abuse and removal whenever you can.

Contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension office for more information on tree care.


donna corbelli castro
Posted: April 23, 2024

Category: Agriculture, Conservation, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Forests, Home Landscapes, Home Management, Horticulture, NATURAL RESOURCES, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: Climate Change, Climate Change Solutions, Heat Island, Miami Dade, Newsletter, Plant Zones, Trees, Urban Canopy

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