What is the value of a tree? Not in a commercial sense, per se, but a broader sense. There are so many ways that trees enrich our lives and enhance our communities, some you may be aware of, and others that will come as a surprise.
1. Clean air saves lives. Okay, we’re starting with one of the better known benefits of trees… but do you really understand how it directly affects our health? For instance, findings from a study in the Journal of Preventative Medicine suggest that areas without trees may increase the mortality rate related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness.
To put in perspective how much a relatively small number of trees can do for our air, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”
2. Clean water. According to the USDA Forest Service, wooded areas help prevent sediment and chemicals from running into streams. The trees in our forests are involved in filtering and storing close to two-thirds of our country’s water supply.
3. Increase your property’s value. Trees are beautiful. That’s not exactly a startling revelation, but since most people have a positive reaction to trees, it can also carry over to their opinion of a home that’s on the market. And that translates into higher property value. There are many factors that come into play with real estate value, but some research has shown that trees do play a role.
The USDA Forest Service conducted a study trying to quantify the value of trees, and when they looked at Portland, they found that trees in front of or near a home added an average $8,870 to its sale price. On average across the US, they found about a 10 percent increase in property value.
4. Trees make us happy. Researchers have found mental and physical health benefits in people who take the time to experience nature. One study actually found that people who were hospitalized, but had a view of trees from their window, spent eight percent less time there than people who did not have the same view.
5. Forests create jobs. The U.S. Forest Service has stated that people who visit our National Forests spent close to $11 billion in 2012. That spending sustains about 190,000 jobs (full- and part-time). It’s important to note, this only accounts for the job impact of National Forests.
6. Control your temps. The shade and wind-shielding from trees can help keep your home temperatures at a happy medium range, not too hot in the summer and sun can still reach your home in the winter after the leaves have fallen.
7. Control flooding. Trees have the ability to hold a significant amount of water that would otherwise contribute to flooding. Trees also prevent sediment runoff.
Trees play a critical role in not only sustaining life, but making that life more enjoyable. If you need help with planting one, just give us a call.