How Important Are Trees, Really

Why should I care about trees anyway? Well, trees are COOL. And not just in a Chuck Norris sort of way, unless you can describe Chuck Norris as ‘elysian.’ If you can, then trees are that sort of cool. Trees Around Your House If you are a homeowner with trees in the yard – lucky you!! Did you realize how much those trees contribute to increasing the resale value of your home? According to the USDA Forest Service, those trees make the difference between a $250,000 home and a $275,000 home. And, the Forest Service are not the only ones tying home value to tree-scaping – the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers say that a mature tree can be expected to appraise up to $10,000 on their own. And that’s not even the savings in utility costs they bring! See, The U. S. Department of Agriculture tells us that the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day! How many trees are in YOUR yard? Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research, says that if you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3. Trees Around Your Community Trees aren’t just good for the homeowner, they’re good for the whole community. The Arbor Day Foundation says that 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. Trees work hard for everyone’s benefit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people! Considering that there are about 60- to 200-million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted, the National Wildlife Federation says this translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs. If saving $4 billion in energy costs isn’t enough, consider that those 60 million trees in our cities each add an average value of $525 – or more than $3 billion – to real estate values nationwide, according to the Management Information Services. Trees are Good for Business, too! And, of course, that’s not all. Studies have shown that shoppers are willing to pay about 10% higher prices for products in a shopping area with trees, as opposed to a comparable shopping district without trees. (K. Wolfe (2003). Public response to the Urban Forest in Inner-City Business Districts. Journal of Arboriculture, 29, 3, 117-26) In fact, it’s been found that shoppers will travel further to visit a shopping district with high-quality trees and spend more time there once they arrive. (Wolf, Kathleen (2005) ‘Business District Streetscapes, Trees and Consumer Response.’ Journal of Forestry) Trees are Good for

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