The Value of Street Trees

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Tree-lined streets are not only appealing, but they add value to adjacent homes and businesses.  And, the benefits don’t stop there.  Trees provide much needed shade during the hot summer months and reduce the heat-island effect in cities.  They provide homes and food for songbirds.  Trees even clean pollutants from the air and help to manage stormwater.

Here are some interesting tidbits:

  • Trees provide four seasons of interest:  in spring, they provide lovely flowers; in summer, they provide greenery; in autumn, they provide brilliant colors; and in winter, they provide interesting structure and bark.
  • “In one study, 83% of realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%.” —Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests
  • “There are about 60– to 200-million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs.” —National Wildlife Federation
  • “Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent.” —The Arbor Day Foundation
  • “The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.” —USDA Forest Service
  • “In laboratory research, 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.” —Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University

The presence of trees contributes to a more liveable and cheerful place. I came across an interesting study conducted by the University of Rochester which revealed that “when people come into contact with nature, even in the simple form of a tree or potted plant, they become kinder, more generous, and more community-minded than when they focus on artificial, human-made surroundings.”  Other studies have found links between green infrastructure and lower crime rates, less violence, faster recovery from illness, and better grades for students.

Ready to plant some trees? A great resource for finding trees at a discount is the non-profit organization The Arbor Day Foundation.  Not only do you get 10 free trees when you join (for $10), but you get great discounts when purchasing trees through the organization.  Their extensive website will also teach you everything you need to know about trees.

View my earlier post here about how to lower your cooling bills with the use of trees.

Sources:  National Clean Water Network and Arbor Day Foundation

photo courtesy of GlenwoodPark.org

Tag(s): Greening the Home, The Great Green Outdoors

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