The Benefits of Trees

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This article addresses the many benefits derived from planting trees in the landscape.
by Brett · All Zones · Trees · 0 Comments · February 06, 2011 · 2,801 views

Communal Benefits

Even though trees may be private property, their size often makes them part of the community as well. Communities where many trees exist feel more inviting and are asthetically more appealing. They provide background to and soften, compliment, or enhance the architecture.

Environmental Benefits

Trees alter the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water, and harboring wildlife.

Climate control is obtained by moderating the effects of sun, wind, and rain. Radiant energy from the sun is absorbed or deflected by leaves on deciduous trees in the summer and is only filtered by branches of deciduous trees in winter. It's nice to have some shady refuge around during the hot days of summer. In winter, we value the sun’s radiant energy. Therefore, we should plant only small or deciduous trees on the south or east side of homes.

The root sytems of trees such as riverbirch and weeping willow help to soak up water in boggy areas of the yard or landscape. Other moisture-loving plants can be planted along with them to form a 'bog garden'.

Temperature in the vicinity of trees is cooler than that away from trees. The larger the tree, the greater the cooling. Trees planted around outdoor living areas can bring much-needed relief during the heat of summer.

Air quality can be improved through the planting of trees. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates. Rain then washes the pollutants to the ground. Leaves of trees also absorb carbon dioxide from the air to form carbohydrates that are used in the trees structure and function. In this process, leaves also absorb other air pollutants - such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide - then giving off oxygen.

By planting trees, we return to a more natural, less artificial environment. Trees will create a wildlife habitat on your property, attracting birds and other wildlife by providing homes and sometimes food for them. Planting trees is an excellent way to restore natural harmony to the urban environment.

Economic Benefits

Trees have value and become more valuable as they grow larger. In addition to the economic benefits associated with energy costs, trees also substancially increase the value of your property as they grow larger. Trees are a wise investment of funds because landscaped homes are more valuable than nonlandscaped homes. Hybridizing in the modern day has helped to bring us trees that grow much faster than their parents did.

Aesthetical Value

Color - Flowering trees bring color to your landscape in almost every season. Tulip trees and Okame cherry are first to bloom in spring. Next comes redbuds, dogwoods, crabapple, and the other types flowering cherries. Crape myrtles bloom during the summer and are unrivaled in longevity of bloom (75-100 days). In fall, maples set your landscape on fire with their fire red foliage display. The Gingko tree produces the most spectacular display of yellow you've ever seen. Many of the Faurieii hybrid crape myrtles have beautiful fall foliage in shades of maroon, orange, or red. Bald cypress shows off orange before dropping it's needles in fall.

Texture - The shedding and mottled bark of Riverbirch, elms, bald cypress, and many of the Fauriei hybrid crape myrtles provide winter interest in the landscape. Trees that produce larger leaves, such as the sycamores and magnolias, and others with interesting leaf shapes, such as the redbud with its heart-shape leaves, the gingko with its fan-shaped leaves, and plams with their fans and fronds, add unique texture and appeal in the landscape.


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