So consider the following when budgeting for tree care/preservation or installation on your existing, or soon-to-be-developed, properties.
Trees Increase Property Value
Numerous studies prove that properties with mature trees and beautiful landscaping attract buyers, shoppers and tenants and demand premium prices.Recent research reported in Arborist News showed: The examples showing the economic value of trees are too numerous to cite, but here's one that sums it up well. A study of the 4,800 parcels surrounding an 8,300-acre nature reserve in the rapidly growing oak woodlands in Riverside County, CA determined that a decrease of 10% in the distance to the nearest stand of oak trees resulted in an increase of $4 million in total home value and an increase of $16 million in total land value in the community. In short, the proximity of healthy,beautiful trees directly affects property value.
- Good tree cover increased property prices by about 7% in residential areas and 18% for building lots.
- Quality landscapes with healthy trees can increase retail spending from 9 to 12%.
- Tree-filled office properties can expect 7% higher rents than those without trees or quality landscaping.
Trees Save Energy & Benefit the Environment
Trees are a critical element in our collective effort for a more sustainable environment. Functioning ecosystems with healthy trees and vegetation help with storm water management, pollutant filtration and soil and water conservation. In the summer, the shade provided by trees cuts energy use. In the winter, deciduous trees that have lost their leaves let sun filter through and warm buildings and homes. By carefully positioning trees, you can save 25-35% in energy consumption per year.Trees also make a tremendous difference to communities at large. A 2002 study by American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization, showed that residents of Atlanta save $2.8 million annually on their energy bills thanks to the shade provided by Atlanta's canopy. Meanwhile, another study showed the value of the more than 500,000 mature mesquite trees in Tucson, AZ is estimated at $90,000 per year for runoff control and $1.5 million per year for particulate matter removal. The bottom line? Trees have a direct impact on energy use and resource conservation, and the healthier and bigger the trees and their canopy, the bigger the impact.
Trees Increase Well-Being & Reduce Crime
It's no secret: Trees and well-kept landscapes make the places we live, work, play and do business more attractive. Trees provide tranquil spaces and shade, and offer protection from wind, noise and rain. In fact a study done by North Carolina State University showed that a well-placed tree can block noise by as much as 40%.In addition, properly positioned and well-pruned trees make buildings more"human" in scale and help create a sense of place. Trees also help build community.In his book, The Experience of Place, Tony Hiss notes that in Chicago's public housing projects the residents of buildings surrounded by trees and green spaces had a stronger sense of community, better relationships with their neighbors and fewer incidents of domestic violence.
It Pays to Preserve and Plant Big Trees
Whether you're weighing the costs of preserving mature trees on your property or planting big trees on a property you're developing, consider the immediate and long-term benefits. Above all, work with a certified arborist to ensure the health of your trees and the value they offer will continue for years to come.