The many benefits of growing fruit trees include their yield of fresh, locally grown food. As another advantage, fruit trees grow well in urban and suburban settings. From a social aspect, fruit trees help people become connected to the growing process while also providing a nutritious food source and food security. Planting fruit trees also has many helpful environmental benefits, from cleaner air to reduced energy costs and green jobs.
Reduced CO2 Emissions
The burning of fossil fuels is largely believed to be the cause of global warming. Carbon dioxide is one of the greatest offending fossil fuels. Fortunately, trees help offset the effects of CO2 pollution. Trees, including fruit trees, actually need CO2 to survive. Trees act as a cleaner, or filter for the air, absorbing CO2 and expelling fresh oxygen into the atmosphere. You can do your part for the environment by planting a fruit tree or two in your garden landscape. You will enjoy the benefit of fresh fruit, and also help to reduce greenhouse gases. According to TreePeople.org, one acre of mature fruit trees will absorb as much CO2 as would be produced by driving 26,000 miles.
Reduced Energy Costs
Fruit trees in the home garden help you to save energy and reduce the cost of utilities, such as electric and water. A fruit tree providing shade for your home can reduce the need for cooling on the occasional hot day. When partial shade-loving plants are incorporated near your fruit tree, they lose less water through evaporation on sunny days, reducing the need for supplemental watering. Lawns shaded by fruit trees are also healthier and more vibrant, because they do not lose moisture or become scorched by the sun.
Storm Water Management
In urban settings with few trees, storm water management is often a problem. Although storm water seems harmless, without proper absorption runoff water gathers and carries pollutants that travel to streams, rivers and, ultimately, the ocean. This runoff also leads to erosion on hillsides and slopes. Fruit trees help to eliminate some storm water management problems and erosion by absorbing some of the runoff and using it for hydration after a rainstorm. If your yard is particularly soggy, the addition of a tree may help alleviate some of your drainage problems.
In a community setting, a garden or orchard with fruit trees provides opportunities for residents to learn about sustainable development and growing your own food. In some communities, orchards open the door for green jobs and other small business opportunities. This not only helps the community in an economic sense, it also helps the environment by promoting sustainable living. Growing your own fruit helps you become more connected to the growing process and where your food is coming from.