The urban orchard improves air quality by reducing air temperatures and directly removing air pollutants. Fruit trees can cool our urban environment by providing shade in addition to evaporative cooling through the leaves. Lower air temperatures can lead to lower emissions of pollutants. Trees also remove air pollutants by up-taking gases through the leaves as well as intercepting airborne particles (1).
Assist in Stormwater Management
According to the EPA, "In Nature, trees play critical roles in controlling stormwater runoff and protecting surface waters from sediment and nutrient loading. In cities, trees can play an important role in stormwater management by reducing the amount of runoff that enters stormwater and combined sewer systems" (2).
Remove & Store Carbon
Orchard trees and shrubs remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through their natural process of photosynthesis. Orchard trees store carbon in their biomass including: leaves, trunk, branches, and roots. Carbon is stored in soil organic matter as a result of fallen leaves and branches. A single Giving Grove orchard, with an average of 15 trees, has the ability to sequester approximately 2.7 tons of carbon over 25 years (3).
Practice Responsible Holistic and Organic Growing
Giving Grove community orchard stewards are trained and equipped to apply the principles of nature's own biological methods. These holistic practices contribute to increased disease resistance, soil health, beneficial insects that protect against harmful pests, and balanced fertility that encourages a sustainable supply of fruits, berries, and nuts. Using these principles, Giving Grove orchards avoid the use of traditional commercial chemicals.
(1) Nowak, D. J., & Heisler, G. M. (2010). Air Quality Effects of Urban Trees and Parks. National Recreation and Park Association. https://www.nrpa.org/uploadedFiles/nrpa.org/Publications_and_Research/Research/Papers/Nowak-Heisler-Research-Paper.pdf
(2) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2013). Stormwater to Street Trees: Engineering Urban Forests for Stormwater Management. Washington DC. http://www.davey.com/media/183712/stormwater_to_street_trees.pdf
(3) Wu T, Wang Y, Yu C, Chiarawipa R, Zhang X, Han Z, et al. (2012) Carbon Sequestration by Fruit Trees - Chinese Apple Orchards as an Example. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38883. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038883