February 16th

In a recent study, European researchers discovered that people living on streets that were lined with more trees purchased fewer antidepressants. The study was conducted in Germany.

Street trees, the scientists say, are important to maintaining biodiversity in urban green space. But until now, little was known about their effects on mental health.

By studying more than 9,700 residents of Leipzig, Germany, researchers found that there was a lower rate of antidepressant prescriptions for people living within 100 yards of a higher density of street trees. For individuals with low socio-economic status, a high density of trees within 100 yards of their home significantly reduced the probability of being prescribed antidepressants.

Scientists say these results suggest that “unintentional daily contact to nature through street trees close to the home may reduce the risk of depression, especially for individuals in deprived groups.”

This is just one of the many ways our green spaces – starting with those in our own backyards – benefit us. To learn more, check out the TurfMutt Foundation’s Living Landscapes Fact Book.