Assessment of the UVR protection provided by different tree species

Photochem Photobiol. Nov-Dec 2007;83(6):1465-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2007.00188.x.


In recent years, SunSmart campaigns have emphasized the importance of the use of shade as a strategy in the reduction of human exposure to solar UV radiation (UVR), particularly in early life with the provision of shade in schools. Trees can play an important role in shade provision, either as the main shade provider or to augment shade structures and increase UVR protection provided to the general population. A study to measure the protection provided by a range of trees common in Australian urban environments was undertaken during the summers of 2004/2005 and 2005/2006. Solar UVR beneath the trees was measured using UVR sensitive polysulphone badges positioned horizontally within the shaded area and were compared with those in full sunshine to give an indication of the protection provided. Measurements made on sunny days during the months of October to April indicated that the shade cover provided by the trees depended upon the tree species and changed with season as a result of changing foliage and sun angles. Measured protection factors ranged from 5 to 10 and were generally a maximum in the height of summer when the sun was highest in the sky and the foliage was densest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnoliopsida / classification
  • Magnoliopsida / radiation effects*
  • Seasons
  • Trees / classification
  • Trees / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays*