January 14th, 2014
An experiment was conducted in a BBC Two article where 24 silver young birch trees where placed in front of four terrace houses and there was another 4 terraces without the birch trees.
The experiment was simple – to measure Particulate Matter (PM) which is gathered from traffic next to houses for two weeks. Hoping the birch trees will have an affect of the amount of PM in houses.
TV screens and computer monitors were cleaned in all 8 houses, acting as dust traps over the next two weeks.
The results were phenomenal. The 4 houses with birch trees in front of their house had 50-60% less pollution than those without.
Why is this? Here is a quote from the article:
“Electron microscope images of the leaves of silver birch trees show why they are so good – they are covered in tiny hairs and ridges which help trap the pollution particles. Their sparse structure also helps keep the air circulating and flowing past the leaves to filter it effectively (rather than trapping pollution near the ground as bigger and denser trees do). Each time it rains, the PM pollution is washed off the leaves, allowing them to start trapping more.
So whilst the birch trees are in leaf, at least, they are providing an excellent pollution filter. And given that heart disease (which is seriously affected by particulate air pollution) is Britain’s biggest killer, a couple of small silver birch trees in your front garden – or planted along the pavement by the local council – could be a huge boost to your health.”