We already have a developed understanding of the importance of vegetation in sustaining the well-being of our environment. In urban areas, trees and other vegetation provide a range of benefits to environmental quality and human health, including improvements in air and water quality, reducing the impact of atmospheric trace chemicals like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead, etc., controlling air temperatures, reducing UV radiation, and more, not to mention the aesthetic benefits. Now, we are beginning to understand trees’ additional role in diminishing the intense impact of noise pollution in our cities.
New Research: Sound Absorbing Properties Of Trees
Urban planners currently implement strategies in their work to combat noise pollution, utilizing trees and vegetation to absorb noise from all sorts of sources such as air and road traffic, construction, and trains. Until now, the effectiveness of different plant materials as noise absorbers has been mostly guesswork, however new research reveals more about which plants work best. A 2020 University College London study assessed the properties of certain types of organic materials from 13 different tree species to determine their ability to absorb noise.
The larch was found to be most effective at mitigating noise.
From 76 samples, the laboratory-based testing revealed that the larch was the most effective species at absorbing noise. The determining factors in the samples capabilities as an absorber were the bark’s thickness, tree age, and bark roughness. Species tested included those commonly found in urban areas, such as pine, willow, alder, cherry, poplar, and beech trees. Conifers in general were found to be more effective in absorption than their broadleaved counterparts.
These results will mean that urban planners can more decisively control noise pollution from industrial activities in their work, further merging the practices of environmental protection and landscaping.
Environmentally-Conscious Sound Absorption
Achieving noise reduction on temporary job sites in populated areas is difficult to resolve with vegetation. Where portability is required, the lightweight Echo Barrier provides an innovative solution, with market-leading noise absorbing properties.