When most people think of the exterior home improvement projects, they think about all things affixed to their house; a porch, shutters, light fixtures, etc. But one of the greatest investments you can make in your home is planting trees. Trees increase your house value, enhance curb appeal, provide privacy and shade, reduce your energy bills and lower your stress. Can you think of any other singular home improvement investment that packs that much punch?
Not only are there multiple benefits of planting trees, but according to Clemson University, the financial return on that investment is 100% or more. No other home improvement boasts returns like that. Imagine planting a $100 tree that grows to a mature 40 feet tall in less than 7 years and adds $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your house. That’s what the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers report a “sound, mature tree” will add to the value of your home. If only we could identify stocks with a 10 – 100x return on investment as easily as we can identify this home improvement tip!
Return on investment is one financial benefit of planting trees. But it isn’t the only one. Properly placed trees reduce your energy bills. In colder months you can expect to save 20-50% in energy used for heating because of these trees, according to the USDA Forest Service. And in the summer months, the same properly placed trees can reduce your cooling bill by up to 50% says The Mast Tree Network. Said another way, “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day,” reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Plus these trees provide wonderful shade for you to sit under and enjoy your outside space or to plant flowers that require shade in order to bloom and thrive.
Feeling a little stressed? Try sitting under your trees. Too cold to sit outside? Just stare at your trees. Based on research conducted by Dr. Roger Ulrich at Texas A & M University, “visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” After reading about this research, I was skeptical. Sure, a walk in nature absolutely reduces stress. But just looking at trees? Surprisingly it works.
For those looking to create a privacy wall, we recommend the Lombardy Poplar tree. It grows in every region of the United States and when several Poplars are planted 5-8 feet apart from each other they create both a natural privacy “fence” and a strong wind block. The Lombardy Poplar is a very fast-growing tree, growing at a rate of 8-10 feet a year, so it doesn’t take long at all to grow an impressive privacy panel.
Then when it’s time to put your house on the market, you’ll fall in love with your trees all over again because they will definitely help sell your home. The curb appeal created with landscaping reduces the time to sell by 10-15% and increases the sales price. A joint project by the University of Washington and the National Gardening Association suggests mature trees in a well-landscaped yard increases home value by 7-19%. The International City/County Management Association pushes that to 20% while landscape economist John Harris suggests it can go as high as 28%.
While they don’t all agree on how much, everyone agrees that homes with healthy trees sell more quickly and for more money than houses without them.
So now the question is, what kind of trees? If your number one priority is financial return on investment, check out this cool tree benefits calculator at www.treebenefits.com/calculator to determine the worth of your trees or the trees you are considering planting.
And once you’ve decided on the right trees for your yard, look into a professional tree care service such as Bloomington Tree Care in Bloomington, MN. After all, well cared for trees are what’s going to get you the highest return on your investment!