This Thanksgiving, when you’re counting your blessings and listing those things you’re grateful for, don’t forget to add trees to your list. Trees are welcome sights that provide a magnificent backdrop to everyday life.
It’s easy to forget these silent beauties and the impact they have on our lives. But Jason Reitter, a local, certified arborist in New Jersey, thinks the best way to show gratitude to your trees is to give them proper care.
“Trees do so much for us. They benefit the environment, keep us healthy and even save us money. In return, all they ask is for a little TLC,” says Reitter. “That’s where I come in. It’s my passion and life’s work to keep the trees you love healthy and thriving for years (or even decades to come).”
As Reitter mentioned, trees are a gift that keep on giving. Here are 10 reasons to be thankful for trees this year.
- Trees clean the air. Trees act as giant filters that clean the air we breathe by intercepting and absorbing pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. That means just two mature trees provide enough oxygen for a family of four.
- Trees improve the soil. Trees store and actually change harmful pollutants into less toxic forms. They filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal waste, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams. Plus, trees control soil erosion. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on the ground.
- Trees increase property value. Real estate values increase when trees are planted on a property. Data shows that a single tree in front of a home can increase the home’s sale price by an average of $7,130. Plus, trees can sell homes nearly two days faster. This curb appeal factor can be the difference between someone stopping to look at your house or passing it by.
- Trees shade and cool. Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer, which can cut air conditioning costs by up to 56 percent. Also, studies have shown that parts of cities without shade from trees can literally be "heat islands" with temperatures as much as 12 degrees higher than surrounding tree-laden areas.
- Trees bring people together: Data shows that neighborhoods with shady streets and parks create outdoor spaces that attract people. Their shade encourages people to enjoy walks and bike rides beneath their large canopies. Trees even encourage people to interact with neighbors. Communities also come together for new plantings to commemorate special occasions or mark a new start for the future.
- Trees reduce stress. Whether supporting forts for children or providing creative inspiration for adults, trees give us a space we can retreat to. Simply sitting and looking at trees has been proven to reduce blood pressure and stress-related hormones.
- Trees enhance the view. Trees can be an easy fix for unsightly structures or parking lots. They catch the eye with four seasons of beautiful colors and transitions.
- Trees support wildlife. From seeds to sprouts, trees are an important resource for animals, pollinators and birds. Trees provide food, shelter and a place to nest.
- Trees control noise pollution. Trees are effective barriers against urban noise–and much prettier than a stone wall. When planted strategically, trees reduce mechanical noises from highways and airports.
- Trees reduce violence: Trees may foster safer, more sociable neighborhoods and are tied to reduced levels of domestic violence. When trees are included in natural landscapes near homes, there are fewer property, domestic and violent crimes. And there is less graffiti, vandalism and littering.
Trees never stop giving. Don’t underestimate the value of trees and plants in your yard. Provide proper tree care and landscape maintenance this season and beyond, and you'll reap the benefits for several seasons to come. Ready to take care of your trees? Contact Reitter, or any of our local, certified arborists.