Increasing the value of your home may be as simple as making room for trees. In fact, studies show that trees, shrubs and flowers in a landscape can increase a home’s property value by up to 37 percent.
That’s just one of the many ways trees pay you back! They also have an astounding return on investment. For every dollar spent on landscaping, you get a 109 percent return, which is higher than any other home improvement according to Michigan University research.
“The great thing about trees is that the economic benefits are just the start. They do so much for us,” says Ed Legge of Davey Tree’s Charleston, West Virginia, office. “Trees clean the air, make us happier and provide us with natural beauty.”
Below Legge shares tips and tricks on why trees matter and how to seamlessly incorporate them into your landscape.
Trees Reduce Energy Bills
Trees are best known for their shade, which significantly reduces heating and cooling costs. Strategically placed trees can save up to 50 percent on air-conditioning and heating bills, found the USDA Forest Service.
In fact, areas without cooling shade trees can become "heat islands" with temperatures 22 degrees higher than surrounding areas, according to the EPA.
To maximize energy savings, plant trees on the west, northwest or north side of the home.
“Your goal is to keep the wind out, which people often think means planting trees close together. But you still want to keep about 15 to 20 feet in between each tree,” says Legge.
Trees Boost Property Values
A single tree in front of a home can increase the home’s sale price by more than $7,000, according to PNW Research Station research. If there were trees in the yards of nearby homes, that number jumps to nearly $13,000. Additionally, those trees reduced the home’s time on the market by an average of almost two days.
Specific trees don’t increase property value more than others. Instead, it’s about planting hardy, disease-resistant trees suited for your planting zone, so they can grow big and strong. Legge suggests planting a Northern red oak, sugar maple or concolor fir to boost your property value.
If you’re ready to add trees and increase your home’s value, here are a few do’s and don’ts for adding trees to your landscape from Davey Tree’s Ed Legge.
1. Do diversify your planting. Planting several different varieties helps protect against invasive species, insects or diseases that could infest and damage plantings.
2. Don’t volcano mulch. Keeping mulch away from the trunk is critical. Only add two to three inches of mulch as needed and layer away from the trunk like a saucer.
3. Do consider varieties that are sturdy and resistant to problems. Native to areas of North America, the redbud is easy-to-grow. Valued for their pink or white flowers in spring, these trees have delightful heart-shaped leaves that turn golden-yellow in fall.
Kousa dogwoods also make for a terrific spring show with attractive pink or white blooms. These are chosen widely over their North American cousin, flowering dogwoods, for their disease resistance.
4. Don’t smother a landscape. A mature tree adds value to the property because of function and aesthetics. Plant high-value specimens to form a focal point, frame the house or stand in a hedgerow. Remember to plant trees about 15 feet from the house. Over time, the tree will grow along with the value of the home.
Need help picking, planting or caring for your tree? Reach out to your local certified arborist at Davey Tree.
With more than 9,000 employees throughout North America, The Davey Tree Expert Company provides solutions for residential, utility, commercial and government clients. Rooted in research, the company’s vision is to achieve balance among people, progress and the environment. Tree experts since 1880, Davey provides diversified tree services, grounds maintenance and environmental services. Davey is one of the largest employee-owned companies in the U.S. and is headquartered in Kent, Ohio.