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Why Plant a Tree?

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Thinking of planting a tree? Perhaps you have a new home and would like to make that new yard less bare by adding a tree or two. Or possibly you've seen a really great tree blooming in the neighbor's yard. Or you've seen a picture in a book and you are tempted to try one for your own yard.

Trees are beautiful. They add color, form and splendor to our environments. But beauty isn't the only benefit of trees. We often don't realize how much trees add to our lives. Trees can provide payback for generations to come. Reasons to plant a tree:

Shade. Trees make our lives more comfortable. They give us shade in summer for comfort, beauty, and energy savings - Three well placed trees, when mature, can cut air conditioning costs by 10-50 percent.

Winter Wind Protection. Evergreen trees planted on the north side of the house can provide protection from the wind in the winter. More savings on those winter heating bills!

Oxygen. Trees are good for our health. An average tree consumes 26 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. An average tree exhales enough oxygen in a day to keep a family of four breathing.

Air Filtration. Trees fight air pollution. The leaves act as natural filters, removing particles and carbon dioxide and returning fresh oxygen.

Noise Buffers. Trees buffer noise. The leaves and small branches in a tree absorb and deflect sound.

Wildlife. Trees shelter wildlife, providing habitat for birds and small creatures .

Erosion Prevention. Trees improve soil by preventing erosion. Tree roots hold soil in place so it is not washed away by wind and water.

Cleaner Water. Trees clean water. The tiny root fibers of trees help filter ground water, trapping pollutants that could contaminate it.

Economic Value. Trees increase property values. When buying a home most people prefer their home and neighborhood with trees. Statistics have also shown that trees attract people to businesses.

Cultural Value. Because trees live so long, they are living witnesses to our history, representing great cultural value to society. For example, the Great Sequoia trees in California are cultural treasures to our society. Closer to home, the tree that your parents or grandparents parented in the backyard to commemorate your parent's birth becomes part of family history.

Quality of Life . It's been proven that trees and views of trees actually calm people's nerves. Hospital patients heal faster when they have a view of trees from their windows. Road rage is significantly reduced along roads with trees. Besides, trees are just plain fun. They are secret castles, treehouses fortresses, and natural jungle gyms.

Trees add to the quality of our lives both at home and for the larger community. They pay back our investment in time and care for many years.