Trees are an important component of the residential landscape. They can aesthetically frame and/or screen views while providing scale to the landscape and creating a more comfortable outdoor living experience. Here are a just few more reasons for incorporating trees into your landscape:
1. Trees create shade. Deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves) provide shade in the summer, reducing air-conditioning needs which reduces energy demands, and can reduce the urban heat island effect. A shade tree on a sunny day provides welcomed reprieve as well as the most coveted spot in the parking lot.
2. Trees provide privacy. Trees can create screening barriers for unpleasant views, walls, or neighbors as well as frame pleasing views. A strategically placed tree can mean the difference between being comfy and relaxed versus having to order new window coverings. Trees can also dampen street sounds, provide wind breaks and capture dust.
3. Trees prevent erosion. Trees reduce stormwater runoff by intercepting and slowing rainfall allowing it to be absorbed by the soil and roots. This keeps soil in place on steep slopes, hillsides and waterway slopes which reduces water pollution as well.
4. Trees sequester carbon. During the process of photosynthesis, trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, store the carbon and release the oxygen back into the air. This helps combat climate change and provides oxygen.
5. Trees provide habitat. Many trees including oaks, maples, and ash provide excellent homes for birds and squirrels as well as food and pollen for many more critters. Even dead and dying trees also create habitat opportunities for many birds and insects. Trees also provide habitat for people with wood for home construction and wood to burn for warmth.
6. Trees increase property values. Well-planted and maintained trees can increase the value of a property, surrounding street, and neighborhood from 10 – 15%. Trees can also generate a theme and provide unity throughout a neighborhood and can also serve as a landmark.
7. Trees provide seasonal interest. Deciduous trees provide seasonal interest with colorful flowers in the spring, lush foliage for shade during the summer, beautiful colors of autumn from the fallen leaves, and stimulating branching patterns look even more inspiring with a coat of fresh snow and ice.
8. Trees provide food. Trees not only provide food for animals and insects, but trees also provide food for people. Fruits, nuts, chewing gum, maple syrup, and chocolate all come from trees as well as other household products such as sponges, corks, and dyes.
9. Trees reduce stress. Trees and landscapes have been known to reduce stress by lowering blood pressure, this improves moods and reduces anxiety. Exposure to trees and nature has shown to reduce fatigue, increasing mental stimulation as well as reducing patient recovery times.
10. Trees create special places. Trees are often the ceiling to our outdoor rooms but many times they can be the whole room themselves. Building a tree house, installing a tire swing or zip line, or climbing as high as you can provides an unique experience that only a tree can provide.