FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Ever wonder what role trees really play in our lives? When a tree is lost, it becomes clear the role that missing tree played in our landscape. In our corner of northeast Colorado, we cherish our trees. Investing in trees is a high priority whether the trees are for a windbreak or adding to the landscape.
When people think of the benefits of trees, they think about shade and the oxygen they provide or what aesthetic feature they bring to the landscape such as a pretty flower or wonderful fall color. But their benefits go much deeper than that. One single tree removes 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air according to onetreeplanted.org. As a tree matures to age 40, the tree has captured 1 ton of carbon dioxide. Studies show the longer a tree grows and the bigger a tree gets the more carbon dioxide it can store.
Trees have amazing cooling capacity. When a car is parked under a tree, the temperature in the shade can be as much as 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This doesn’t even speak to the cooling capacity of a tree. One single young, healthy tree has as much cooling capacity of 10 single room air conditioners operating 20 hours a day according to Arbor Day Foundation. The U.S. Forest Service states, trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and can save 20–50% in energy used for heating.
Trees provide vital habitat for wildlife according to the U.S. Forest Service. With all our wildfires burning portions of our forests, where does the wildlife go, if it survives? The loss of habitat is not quickly replenished. New tree seeds may struggle to germinate and grow if we continue to have drought years. It takes years for young trees to grow to a mature size to make up the loss.
Trees can reduce crime and bring people together. They lower anxiety and bring neighbors outside. Trees can increase the privacy of your property. Street trees were determined to be the single most important indicator of attractiveness in a community.
Trees increase our property value from 10 to 20 percent overall. Real estate agents across the country agree that homes with trees sell faster than homes without trees according to Damron Group Realtors. If a home has mature trees, then that can add to the value of the property from 6-18 percent. The council of the landscape appraisers’ states that the value of a mature tree often has an appraised value that ranges from $1500 to $10,000. It is thus notable that tree planting is one of the great returns on investment possibilities for your home.
–Linda Langelo, Golden Plains Extension