Trees help support and manage our ecosystem services by providing shade, improving our air and water quality, storing carbon, mitigating floods from storm water, and increasing property values (The Morton Arboretum, 2020). Furthermore, in a meta-analysis including 74 studies (Reed et al., 2017), trees in the Americas and Asia were found to have net positive effects on food yields in the magnitude of 58% and 54% of the cases, respectively. These finding suggest that clearing trees for agricultural purposes may be counter-productive in some cases.
Reed, J., van Vianen, J., Foli, S., Clendenning, J., Yang, K., MacDonald, M., Petrokofsky, G., Padoch, C., & Sunderland, T. (2017). Trees for life: The ecosystem service contribution of trees to food production and livelihoods in the tropics. Forest Policy & Economics, 84, 62–71. https://doi-org.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/10.1016/j.forpol.2017.01.012
The Morton Arboretum (2020). Community trees program. https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/community-trees-program