Trees are often taken for granted but their value to our environment and to our well-being should not be underestimated. According to the USDA Forest service properly located trees can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 30% and save 20% to 50% on energy used to heat your home. In addition to their economic value trees provide two of life’s basic essential needs; oxygen and food. They also provide shelter and are a source for tools and medicine. Clearly, we take for granted how important trees are in our day to day lives forget the fact that they just add something special to our communities and our own yards!
It might surprise you to know that there actually are certified arborists who are trained in appraising the value of a tree. Most homeowners would be thrilled to find out that a mature tree could add up to $10,000 to the value of their home and a study by Clemson University found that good to excellent landscaping can increase the sales price of a home by up to 7%. Money Magazine has stated that the investment in landscaping can have a recovery value of up to 200% at selling time. This compares quite favorably to the 125% recovery value of a kitchen remodel or 120% for a bathroom upgrade. I don’t know any realtor that will tell you that mature trees and good landscaping won’t improve your curb appeal!
These are some of the more well-known benefits of trees to our lives but they do even more to help us and our communities. According to Treepeople.org studies show that patients actually heal faster after surgery and have fewer complications if they have trees visible from their hospital room windows. Trees also act as landmarks and important symbols in history. For example, in 1765 an elm tree in the city of Boston became the gathering place for the Sons of Liberty to protest the enforcement of the Stamp Act. The Liberty Tree, as it came to be called, was chopped down by the British Army and loyalists during the siege of Boston and it became such a patriotic symbol that towns throughout the colonies designated their own versions of it. The apple tree that contributed to Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery of the theory of gravity is still standing today and the stump of a Callery Pear Tree, the only one that survived the September 11th attacks was replanted at the national September 11th Memorial and Museum in 2010 as a symbol of survival and resilience.
It seems appropriate to think a little more about trees and how they impact our lives. Whether it is the fruit we eat every day or a tree we climbed in as children all of us enjoy the benefits that trees bring to our lives and it’s always a good time to give thanks for all they do for us. If you plant a tree this fall remember that you are doing a whole lot of good for not only yourself but for your ancestors too!