The health of our planet and the health of humankind are directly linked. Fortunately, Mother Nature has gifted us with a powerful tool to promote the health of both – trees. Especially in urban settings, trees and shrubs provide more than visual value to your neighborhood. Beyond their beauty, trees come with hidden social, communal, environmental, and economic benefits.
Tree coverage is integral in creating a healthy and happy living environment for families. From increased property value to decreased energy usage, homes with healthy trees and shrubs have it made in the shade. With that being said, we’ll walk you through some of the top environmental and economic benefits of having significant tree coverage around your home!
Increase Home Value
Whether you are looking to sell your home soon or trying to set yourself up for long-term financial success, investing in trees and greenery can increase your home’s property value.
Studies have shown homes with mature trees in their yards (and in the surrounding area) have been far more attractive to prospective buyers.
According to HGTV, homes with mature trees can increase in value by 7-19%. A 2007 study by Arborist News noted the following price increases on properties with trees as opposed to those without:
- 3-5% price increase when there are trees in the front yard
- 6-9% price increase when there is good tree cover in a neighborhood
- 10-15% price increase when mature trees are present in high-income neighborhoods
In general, landscaping provides one of the greatest returns on home improvement investments. According to a study from Michigan University, landscaping yields a 109% return on your initial investment!
If your home already has trees, caring for them has its payoff. Regular check ups from an expert can help prevent damage and help trees continue to become healthy and mature. Stopping potential issues at the root can ensure these trees can bring both monetary value and beauty to your home for years to come.
Keep Things Cool (And We Don’t Mean The AC)
When it comes to the summer heat, there’s nothing we love more than something that can cool the community down just a couple notches. As a beautiful AND effective cooling measure, trees are a necessity to help you beat the summer heat.
The “heat island effect” (a.k.a. the urban heat phenomenon) points out that city environments are typically hotter than the surrounding countryside due to the reduction in evaporation from a lack of trees, grass, and shrubs. The shade of even a single tree can provide the much needed solace from the hot summer sun. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, landscaped areas with trees and turf can be a full 25 degrees cooler than their asphalt neighbors.
This is true on a larger scale as well. Cities and towns with a comprehensive amount of tree coverage have a higher cooling effect throughout. According to the USDA’s Forest Service, a young tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. So, whether you are planting one yourself or protecting the ones you’ve got, trees are guaranteed to help you tackle the summer heat from the shade of your own home.
Decrease Utility Bills
Energy conservation is both good for the environment and friendly for our budgets, especially when it comes to our energy bill. While some would think to install solar panels, a more cost-effective long-term investment is planting trees! Trees on your property can help reduce your energy bill especially during the summer months.
During the summer, trees can reduce temperatures by up to 6% by producing shade and increasing the moisture in the air. That said, tree placement is crucial.
The Center for Urban Forest Research claims that trees planted on the west side of your home can reduce your energy bill costs by 3% over 5 years and 12% within 15 years. Over time, these results can greatly help you make your home more eco-friendly.
Reducing UV Exposure
Summer is the time for kids to get outside and play, for families to relax by the pool, and for backyard barbeques with friends. But all that time spent outside can leave you exposed to the damaging rays of the sun. In fact, the American Cancer Society identifies skin cancer as the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Enter nature’s sun block – the tree! Trees provide a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s harmful UV rays. In fact, neighborhoods with tree coverage create a reduction in UV exposure by almost 50%, making it safer for kids and adults of all ages.
Cut Carbon Emission
As global CO2 levels rise and populations climb, the need to combat climate change has become irrefutable. The core climate change mitigation strategy over the last few years has been focused on preventing deforestation because trees and other plants help absorb carbon within the earth’s atmosphere.
More recently, environmentalists have stood in support of a more proactive approach to fighting climate change. By planting trees in urban areas, where high carbon emissions may be higher, we can all participate in keeping the earth as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
This has led to a massive push for urban forests. In fact, the USDA’s Forest Service claims the following contributions to the U.S.’s carbon emission rates:
- Urban trees store over 708 million tons of carbon, which is 12% of the U.S.’s annual carbon dioxide emissions
- Urban trees continue to store an additional 28.2 million tons of carbon each year
- 100 million mature trees around residences in the U.S. could equate to $2 billion annually in reduced energy costs
The widespread environmental and economic impact of trees and landscaping is incredible. That's why TruGreen offers a range of science-based tree and shrub services designed to give your landscape the nutrients and protection it needs to thrive. Let us create a tailored approach for your trees and shrubs that helps them flourish year-round.