Hugging trees for Health

Tree hugging has increased in popularity in recent years. You don’t have to be a shaman or druid to feel the benefits of getting close to nature and to trees especially.

Figure 1. The SUTEE project team around a campus tree in Madrid

Trees have long been a mix of cultural and spiritual experience for humans. This can be shown through, for example, the Celtic tree oracle or the Tree of Life circle in Vienna’s hilly suburbs.

Figure 2. Tree of Life circle, Vienna

In today’s hectic urban life, hugging a tree can help people get some grounding and has a number of perceived benefits. 10 reasons for hugging a tree are listed at this website.

In busy metropolitan spaces, trees are also a symbol of a healthy natural environment. They connect us with lifeforms that are older than humans and live longer than humans. This gives them the air of stability and robustness, whence people buzzing around in alleys, avenues and tree-lined walks feature like bees around a flower. However, trees are also part of the essential life support for all living things on our planet. Especially in inner cities, the help keeping the temperature and CO2 levels down and generally improve air quality.

The SUTEE project is dedicated to environmental education and showcases urban trees as representatives for green spaces in cities with the intention to improving the health and lives of inhabitants.