It’s no secret that trees help the environment, but you may be surprised by all the benefits that planting and caring for your trees can provide. Besides beautifying our properties and providing us shade in hot weather, trees have many environmental and economic benefits. Trees save energy, reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, and improve air quality.
Properly-cared-for trees will increase property value.
Trees are a landscape’s most valuable asset. Mature, well-maintained trees can add up to 20 percent more value to a real estate appraisal, as well as aesthetic curb appeal that draws positive attention to a property. Conversely, deferred maintenance and poorly maintained trees can have the opposite effect on a property, potentially lowering its value up to 15 percent. Trees that are not cared for properly can also create a large liability for the property owners and managers. When trees have not been regularly inspected by an ISA Certified Arborist and kept appropriately pruned on a normal basis, there can be an increased potential for failure from heavy limbs. If there is a poor root structure that has not been identified by an ISA Certified Arborist and cared for, then complete tree failure is liable to occur.
Trees conserve building energy use.
Trees modify climate and conserve building energy use. Trees and other vegetation on individual building sites may lower air temperatures 5˚F compared with sites without trees. For individual buildings, strategically placed trees can increase energy efficiency in the summer and winter. Because the summer sun is low in the east and west for several hours each day, solar angles must be considered; trees that face west-facing walls help keep buildings cool. In the winter, allowing the sun to strike the southern side of a building can warm interior spaces.
Trees improve air quality in their environment.
Air pollution is a serious health threat to many city dwellers, and often leads to the development of respiratory or heart diseases. Urban forests absorb gaseous pollutants through leaf surfaces, as well has intercept pollutants such as dust, ash, pollen, and smoke. Trees also release oxygen through photosynthesis. In addition, they reduce energy use, which reduces emissions of pollutants from power plants.
If tree biomass is properly recycled, it creates clean energy.
The way a tree’s biomass is recycled is very important to closing the carbon dioxide cycle. Perhaps the greenest way to recycle tree waste is to send it to a biomass plant. Numerous tree care companies in California send all of the tree biomass through a chipper to create wood-chips, and then those chips are transported to a biomass plant. Once the chips arrive at the plant, they are dumped into large hoppers and fed into a furnace where they are burned. The fire heats water in a boiler and the resulting steam is used to turn turbines and generators. All of the power that is created is sent directly into the state’s power grid. Burning biomass creates what experts call a “net gain of zero”. The small amount of emissions generated during biomass burning is offset by the amount of carbon dioxide that was absorbed by the biomass while it was growing. Biomass power plants diligently work to ensure that emissions are kept to the absolute minimum.