A Dose-Response Curve Describing the Relationship Between Urban Tree Cover Density and Self-Reported Stress Recovery Academic Article uri icon


  • Although it is well established that viewing nature can help individuals recover from a stressful experience, the dose-response curve describing the relationship between tree cover density and stress recovery is totally unclear. A total of 160 participants engaged in a standard Trier Social Stress Test to induce stress. Participants were then randomly assigned to watch 1 of 10 three-dimensional videos of street scenes that varied in the density of tree cover (from 2% to 62%). Participants completed a Visual Analog Scale questionnaire at three points in the experiment. Analysis revealed a positive, linear association between the density of urban street trees and self-reported stress recovery, adjusted R2 = .05, F(1, 149) = 8.53, p < .01. This relationship holds after controlling for gender, age, and baseline stress levels. A content analysis of participants written narratives revealed a similar but even stronger association. These findings suggest that viewing tree canopy in communities can significantly aid stress recovery and that every tree matters.

published proceedings

  • Environment and Behavior

altmetric score

  • 274.738

author list (cited authors)

  • Jiang, B., Li, D., Larsen, L., & Sullivan, W. C.

citation count

  • 137

complete list of authors

  • Jiang, Bin||Li, Dongying||Larsen, Linda||Sullivan, William C

publication date

  • September 2014