I have always loved trees for the colors and overall soothing effect. Turns out their value comes in numerous ways!
In addition to making your property more attractive and improving the air quality around your house, trees provide substantial financial benefits as well. The U.S. Department of Energy says three properly placed trees can save you $100-$250 a year. Planted in the right places, trees can reduce your air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in heating costs, according to the USDA Forest Service. Plus, they can add an average of 10 percent to your home’s value.
Here are some do’s and don’ts from the National Association of REALTORS® online resource HouseLogic to help you get the most value from your trees.
- Plant deciduous trees on the west side of your house to provide cooling shade in the summer and warming daylight in the winter — if they lose their leaves.
- Plant evergreens on the north side of your home to block winter winds.
- Before you plant, think about the tree’s full-grown size and shape.
- Plant below power lines. Falling trees and branches can cause power outages.
- Plant too close to your home’s foundation. Roots can damage the foundation or block sewer lines.
- Plant in a place that’s considered hazardous; it could actually lower the appraised value of your home.
Find the Tree That’s Right for You
If you want to plant trees but don’t know where to start, the National Arbor Day Foundation offers an online “Tree Wizard” to help you select the right tree. The wizard helps you:
- Identify your hardiness zone to determine which trees are suited for your climate.
- Narrow down what types of trees you’re interested in.
- Describe the growing conditions where you intend to plant the trees.
- Provide specific details about the size and growth rate of trees you’re looking for.
It then generates a list of results with photos, descriptions and ordering information. At ArborDay.org, click on “Trees” and then “Choosing a Tree” for a variety of tools to help you, including the Tree Wizard and a calculator that estimates financial benefits of your trees.