If you have a new-build home, you might be thinking that it looks a bit, well, unfinished and naked with no, or only small, trees around it. If you’re also thinking of planting some fast-growing new ones to improve the look of your property, you could be onto a winner, because mature, tall trees not only improve the appearance of a home, they increase its value and the health and happiness of the occupants and neighbours.
Don’t just go digging holes willy-nilly, though, think about where you’ll place your trees and what sort of variety you want and need. You need to look beyond the appearance of a tree to its function, suitability for your region and how big it’ll eventually get. You also need to think about the added bonuses of a potential $10,000 on your property value and the energy savings you could make.
A tree can make life easier
It’s not just about the looks – a nice big shade tree can cut your air conditioning costs by up to 50% in the summer by, well, blocking out the sun. You might worry about this having the opposite effect in winter, but these same trees also act as wind barriers and can cut heating bills by 20-50%; a win-win scenario. You’ll need to take advice from a landscaper about the best positions for these trees, but that’s hardly a herculean task.
You’ll also be helping to prevent erosion by planting more trees, as well as bringing more oxygen to the party – two mature trees can kick out more oxygen than the average human needs to live.
They’re also great fun
Remember your childhood? Days spent under a big tree, in a big tree, picnics, rope swings, shaking the branches to make the apples drop? Idyllic, right? Not to mention cheap and healthy. Big trees can also give you and your family privacy. Many homeowners in Maryland are opting for Leyland cypress trees from thetreecenter.com, as this variety grows several feet each year and is essentially an instant – and living – screen for the garden.
Which tree is right for you?
Not all trees are ideal for all locations. You need to look at your regional climate, so visit the Arbor Day website to find out what varieties will thrive best in your area and soil type.
Things to watch out for
If you’re planting a tree near your foundations or near a sidewalk, you need to factor in the eventual root system. Some trees have very shallow rots – silver maples, for example – and this can cause cracks in concrete and asphalt. Many local authorities have a list of forbidden trees and you might find yourself paying felling and removal costs if you plant the wrong type.
All things considered, though, a tree is a wise investment if you choose carefully. You’ll have something beautiful to look at in the future, you’ll be giving wildlife a place to live, adding thousands of dollars to your property value and cutting cooling and heating bills. Get planting!