The value of trees

Trees are beautiful things. Their strong boughs provide perfect places for tree houses and swing sets; many produce fruit or nuts for us to eat and without trees, there would be no way for the human population to breathe without the trees converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.

Here are some more reasons to ‘speak for the trees,’ as the Dr. Seuss character, The Lorax, so accurately puts it.

If, today, you planted a tree on the side of your home, within five years, your energy bill should be about three percent less. In 15 years, the savings should be about 12 percent.  Trees placed properly around homes and businesses can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30 percent and can influence savings of 20-50 percent in regards to the heating of the building.

Landscaping, particularly with trees, can often bring the worth of a property up 20 percent. In one study from the Arbor National Mortgage and American Forests, 83 percent of realtors believe that mature trees have a great impact on the salability of homes.

Trees can be a stimulus to economic development. It has been proven that commercial retail areas are more attractive and enticing to shoppers, apartments rent out more quickly and tenets stay longer when trees are around the business or residence.

The planting of trees means improved water quality, less runoff and a reduced amount of land erosion, according to the USDA Forest Service. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams, which allows for the recharging and refreshing of the ground water.

According to an Ulrich Texas A&M University lab study, visual exposure to trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes.  The change is indicated in a healthy change in blood pressure and muscle tension.

One acre of forest alone absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen in return. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, there are about 60 to 200 million spaces along the nation’s city streets where more trees could be planted. If more cityscapes bore trees, it could translate into the ability to take in many more tons of carbon dioxide and could save $4 billion in energy costs.

This Arbor Day, get out and plant a tree.  Whether it is a sapling oak or perhaps even a fruit tree in your own yard, the benefits of planting a tree are ones that continue to give back throughout the years.

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