The Value of Trees

tree home_thumb.jpgWhy are trees so important?
Trees have an obvious aesthetic value. Most people plant trees just because they like how they look. While flats of flowers provide instant curb appeal, the right tree in the right place is always a wise investment. Trees provide year-round interest with very little maintenance once planted. Property values increase when you plant a tree, simply because a yard with trees is more inviting. There are plenty of other factors however that make trees beneficial for our bottom line.

Find out what your trees are worth...
Lower Energy Bills
When you duck under the shade of a tree in summer, you are taking advantage of free "air conditioning". Similarly, trees shading your home mean you pay less to cool it. And in winter when you want the sunshine to warm your home, the trees cooperate by shedding their leaves. Evergreen trees also act as a wind break, reducing the sting of January's bitter cold--and higher heating bills. Even better, these energy savings come with an environmental bonus: reduced power plant emissions.

rain leaves.jpgStormwater Benefit

Trees also help reduce flooding, while preventing pollutants from washing into our storm sewers. Every leaf acts like a mini reservoir, keeping rain from hitting the ground, reducing erosion and keeping contaminants from washing into the storm sewers. The water that collects on the leaves can then evaporate, rather than contributing to flooding on the ground.

It may be just a small amount on each leaf, but multiply that by thousands of leaves on thousands of trees and it's a substantial amount. Each mature shade tree can intercept over 2,500 gallons of water every year! Another reason why a healthy tree canopy is so important.

And let's not forget about what's going on underground. Besides drinking up all that rainwater, tree roots keep the soil from getting compacted so water can soak in rather than run off. How's that for multi-tasking?

Air Quality
Remember learning in science class how trees take carbon dioxide and through photosynthesis, convert it into sugar and oxygen? They take the stuff we don't need and turn it into the stuff we do. It's safe to say that without them, we'd be literally gasping for life. But they do more than just release oxygen.

Trees improve our air quality by absorbing pollutants like ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide through their leaves. They intercept particulate matter like dust, ash and smoke. They lower air temperatures which reduces the production of ozone. And their cooling effect reduces energy use and subsequent pollutant emissions from power plants. It all adds up to cleaner air.

And cleaner air means fewer health problems like asthma, headaches, respiratory and heart disease, and cancer. So take a deep breath--and thank a tree.
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