The United State loses an estimated 36m trees annually in its urban areas, home to four-fifths of Americans, says a new study.
Impervious structures such as roads and buildings occupied 40% of spaces that previously were occupied by trees. The urban areas in the country lose 175,000 acres of tree cover every year.
Forests in urban areas reduce carbon emissions and rainfall run-off and moderate climate, They also have a positive impact on the mental and physical health of people.
The study showed that 45 US states showed a decline in tree cover and Alabama, Florida and Georgia were the ones that showed the most decline.
“Trees in urban areas help ward off pollution, providing a long list of benefits for people and the planet,” Rolf Skar, forest campaign director for Greenpeace USA told The Guardian. “This news proves once again that we need to prioritise adding more green spaces to our cities.”