If you want to minimise the amount of noise in an urban environment it’s better to plant conifers than broadleaved trees, scientists claim.
Researchers from University College London studied the bark of 13 different tree species to find out which would be best at dealing with noise pollution.
The larch was found to be the most effective type of tree when it comes to absorbing noise due to its bark – which acts as a natural silencer of urban noise.
Lead author Jian Kang said the age of the tree, roughness of the bark and its thickness were the most important factors in how good it was at sound reduction.
Researchers from University College London studied the bark of 13 different tree species to find out which would be best at dealing with noise pollution
The research, published in the Applied Acoustics journal, could help urban planners use trees in cities to help control noise reaching houses.
‘Beside emphasising the effects of vision and shade, urban greening should be considered as well to achieve noise reduction,’ Kang told the BBC.
The team planted 76 samples from 14 different species of trees in a laboratory-based test to see how well they absorb different types of urban sound.
They used the type of trees usually found in urban areas including cherry, pine, beech, willow, poplar and alder trees.
Larch gave the best results in terms of keeping sound at bay but conifers as a whole – of which Larch is a variety – performed the best at absorbing sound.
‘The main goal was to have a sufficient variety of species, including broadleaved and coniferous,’ Kang explained.
He told BBC News: ‘Using plants as a potential ‘silencer’ of urban noise could combine environmental protection and landscape business.’
The study involved collecting disks of trunks from a range of fallen trees to see which species, but also which factors had the biggest impact on noise reduction.
‘Tree age and bark roughness seemed [to be] the parameters with the most predictive powers,’ said Kang.
Larch gave the best results in terms of keeping sound at bay but conifers as a whole – of which Larch is a variety – performed the best at absorbing sound
Small changes in the way sound is absorbed heavily influence how effective a belt of trees could be in an urban environment at reducing sound pollution.
they found that selecting species with more absorbing bark could more effectively reduce noise pollution and mitigate the effects of traffic noise.
‘As a result of the fact that the barks of conifers absorb sound slightly better than those of broadleaved trees, conifers could be used more in urban green spaces,’ he told the BBC.
‘Moreover, tree density is important for noise reduction of a tree belt, and species will also influence the densities that can be obtained in a tree belt.’
Drone photographs reveal beautiful changing colours of leaves at American Cemetery in Cambridgeshire
Beautiful aerial photos show the changing colours of the leaves at an American Cemetery in Cambridgeshire yesterday.
Drone pictures show the crimson and orange trees next to rows of white crosses and immaculate lawns in Madingley.
The cemetery was formally opened in 1956 and commemorates US service personnel who died in the Second World War.
An aerial picture shows the American Cemetery in Madingley, Cambridgeshire, yesterday, with the changing colours of the trees
The cemetery was formally opened in 1956 and commemorates American servicemen and women who died in the Second World War
Drone pictures show the crimson and orange trees next to rows of white crosses and immaculate lawns in Madingley