Depression and Street Trees (01-27-21)

Marselle and colleagues link more street trees closer to homes to a decreased likelihood that residents will be depressed.  The investigators report that they  “analysed the association of street tree density and species richness with antidepressant prescribing for 9751 inhabitants of Leipzig, Germany. We examined spatial scale effects of street trees at different distances around participant’s homes, using . . . buffers of 100, 300, 500, and 1000 m. . . . we found a lower rate of antidepressant prescriptions for people living within 100 m of higher density of street trees. . . . Density of street trees at further spatial distances, and species richness of street trees at any distance, were not associated with antidepressant prescriptions. . . .  The study suggests that unintentional daily contact to nature through street trees close to the home may reduce the risk of depression, especially for individuals in deprived groups. This has important implications for urban planning and nature-based health interventions in cities.”

Melissa Marselle, Diana Bowler, Jan Watzema, David Eichenberg, Toralf Kirsten and Aletta Bonn. 2020.  “Urban Street Tree Biodiversity and Antidepressant Prescriptions.” Scientific Reports, vol. 10, 22445,