Trees do more than just look pretty. It might shock you to find out that a tree can add all sorts of value to a home outside of aesthetics.
Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash
A well-maintained yard can be a place of sanctuary. A well-maintained yard can also be a place for family and friends to gather around. This seems more important now than it ever has before. During the pandemic, many of us found ourselves confined to our yards and homes.
So all the more reasons why we should spend this year sprucing up our yards and neighborhoods. Many people during quarantine decided to do some home improvement projects. Did this include your yard for you?
Aside from just being aesthetically pleasing, did you know that there are actual health, monetary, and intellectual benefits to having trees in a yard or neighborhood?
Read on to find out the amazing properties of trees, and why you should add a few to your lawn.
They Add Monetary Value
According to the US Forest Service, trees on a property increase the property value by up to 10% when the trees are healthy and mature. In fact, the USDA valued each urban tree in California at an average of $90 per plant. That’s an incredible value. To reap these benefits, contact a local city office to find a list of approved and recommended trees for your city. Then, get to planting.
A shocking EPA study shows that a shaded surface can be up to 45 degrees colder in the summer versus an unshaded surface. That means that if you strategically plant a tree to shade your roof, the roof will naturally cool itself down. Shading windows and roofs can cause homeowners to run their AC less often, and save big dollars on their energy bill.
With all of these amazing benefits, it’s no wonder so many people are looking to plant trees. Planting trees near and around your home or business can save you money, and even make your employees and children more productive.
To reap these benefits, plant trees on the western side of a building, especially when they shade a roof or a window.
They Make Your Lawn Look Bigger
A study found that trees placed between the sidewalk and the street created an optical illusion to motorists. On streets with more trees planted this way, the streets seemed narrower, the yards larger, and drivers naturally slowed down.
The opposite is also true: when trees are planted in a front lawn, the lawn looks smaller than it actually is, and the streets appear wider. So plant some trees next to the sidewalk and watch your neighborhood become safer and your property values skyrocket.
Thank location! Trees placed in the front yard make your yard look smaller and the street bigger. This is an unconscious signal to drivers that they can speed- an obviously unwanted tactic in residential areas. To combat this and make your street and home appear more attractive, plant trees in the strip of lawn between the sidewalk and the street. This trick will subtly hint to motorists that they should drive slowly, and make your lawn look bigger. A win-win!
Some trees are more appropriate for your climate than others, so make sure you’re choosing yours wisely.
They Make People Smarter
Well...sort of. A 2014 study showed that students with trees outside their classroom windows performed better on tests than students without. In this study, students who had access to trees performed higher in Math and English, in addition to having a higher graduation rate.
Will planting a tree in your yard make your children smarter? Maybe not, but trees do seem to make people more productive. So if you’re wanting little Suzie to get into an Ivy, planting a couple of maples in the backyard certainly won’t hurt.
Many studies exist that show trees and greens make people more productive at work and at home, including one study that proved office workers got more done when near a houseplant. So get to planting!
They Heal Us
This might seem both obvious and crazy, but it’s true. Numerous studies show that people who live near trees and other greenery recover from surgery faster, and even are less likely to suffer from heart disease.
In one study, neighborhoods with a lot of planted trees and shrubs had residents who felt the equivalent of 7 years younger than they actually were. For every 10 trees, the participants felt 1% better. These homeowners and renters were less likely to suffer from respiratory illness and heart disease as well. There are even indications that simply being able to look at a tree from a window has healing properties. So to start feeling energized, plant trees where you can view them from a window seat or chair.
These studies seem to indicate one fact in particular: trees need to be planted near driveways and roads in order to be most effective. This circles back to point number one: it seems that planting a tree or two between your sidewalk and your curb has multiple benefits.
During COVID, many homeowners took to renovating their homes because of the lockdown. After all, if you're confined to your home and yard, you should take the time to ensure that they are actually livable. If this described you, did you actually renovate your yard as well?
Even if you renovated your backyard to add a patio, pool, or bbq pit, you might have neglected to plant a few extra trees. However, planting trees has a shockingly long list of benefits. These benefits, as we have seen, ranging from making children perform better in school to assisting office workers with productivity. They also include promoting healthy bodies in addition to healthy minds - some studies tout a lower risk of heart disease and obesity with being near trees! The list goes on.
There are many more benefits to trees than simply the way they look, and many home and property owners will find additional value in adding a few trees to their yard. Which benefit surprised you the most?