This could be considered a selfless act. It is likely that you may not get to enjoy whatever benefit is derived from planting a tree now. There are plenty of exceptions but there are also plenty of situations that dictate that whoever plants the tree may not be around to enjoy the fruit. Planting a tree is not expensive but it could be time consuming so one should be thoughtful in the planning and do some research.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air as well as other harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and ammonia and produce oxygen.Trees improve biodiversity by providing homes for a multitude of birds, mammals, and numerous animal species.
Trees are a form of nature therapy. The Japanese refer to it as shinrin-yoku(forest bathing). The benefits of planting trees are too numerous to mention so I will not belabor the point but if you are interested to learn more then check out this article about what are the benefits of planting trees .
If you own property then this could be a simple exercise in choosing where and when. A deciduous tree in the right place will provide shade in the summer to cool your home and shed its leaves in the winter to allow the sun to warm up your home. You could be doing your future self a favor. If you own a lot of property then the possibilities are endless. Cedar trees down the property line become a natural privacy fence. If you own property you have a myriad of options. Get it done. If your yard has its fill then consider checking with the neighbors. That little old couple down the street may be excited to have a new tree planted in their yard. You will get to watch it grow.
If you live in an apartment you may face a few challenges. Wander around the premises and discern if there are any spots that could use some shade and consult with management about placement. All you have to do is get it started. Once a tree is established it is self-sustaining. You will be leaving a little bit of yourself when you move on. You found the spot and sweated into the dirt while planting that tree that may live for a hundred years. You will be leaving a tiny piece of yourself there. A small personal legacy. No one will know but no one can take it away.
If you would like to go further there are options. Contact your local leaders and ask if you can volunteer to plant a tree in the green space of a median or near an off ramp. The city of Louisville has a permit system to apply to plant a tree in a park or on city property. The National Forest Foundation has a campaign to plant 50 million trees that you can donate to or get involved. There are lots of options.
Improving air quality, adding to biodiversity, enhancing the natural beauty of a space are just a few of the benefits of planting a tree. By planting a tree on your own property, in a neighbor’s yard, in a park, or chipping in somehow to facilitate the planting of a tree you will be making the world a better place.