Study: Big trees around homes help fight crime

A new study by the U.S. Forest Service finds that homes with big street and yard trees had lower crime rates than those with fewer trees or small ones. (photo couresty of U.S. Forest Service)

Trees don’t fight just air pollution but also crime, says a new study by the U.S. Forest Service.

“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,” says lead author Geoffrey Donovan, a forester at the Pacific Northwest Research Station. He also linked large yard trees to lower crime rates.

In contrast, he found small yard trees might actually increase crime by blocking views and providing cover for criminals, so homeowners should keep trees pruned.

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