What better way to celebrate Earth Day this April 22nd than by planting a tree? It can feel like a lot of work to plant a tree, but the long-term benefits, both for you and for the Earth, far outweigh an afternoon of work. Plus, spending a weekend picking out what type of tree, finding the right placement, and planting the sapling is a great family activity that can help teach your kids about nature and bring the entire family together. Get started this Earth Day so you can feel good about your environmental contributions the rest of the year! Here are 5 good reasons why you should be planning on planting this weekend.
1. Trees provide homes for (small) wildlife
Waking up to birds chirping is heavenly, but the birds have to have a place to live … and you definitely don’t want them nesting in your rafters! Trees draws in birds and other small wildlife by providing them food and shelter. Plus, having birds in your yard can help cut down on bugs in your garden, something your landscaper is sure to be happy about, too! Paired with a tree-mounted birdfeeder and a decorative birdbath, your yard is sure to see its share of feathered friends.
2. Trees clean our air
Most homeowners remember from elementary school that trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen (the opposite of how we breathe), but did you know that trees can also absorb a ton of other harmful gasses from the atmosphere? The positive impact of trees includes absorbing gasses like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, carbon dioxide and even carbon monoxide, which helps to cut down on air pollution around your house and in the neighborhood.
3. Trees decrease cooling costs
Particularly if you strategically plan out the location of the planting, a young to mature tree can help cut down on cooling costs during the summer by providing shade, not just for sitting outside but by shading the house itself. For an average household, strategically placed trees can cut energy consumption by 25% and even reduce a home’s air conditioning cost by 50%! However, as the US Department of Energy shares, all this really depends on where the tree is, what kind of tree you’ve planted (different trees are different shapes and sizes), and whether you’ve got the right kind of tree for your climate. Talking to a tree service specialist can help you get the most out of the new addition to your landscape.
4. Trees increase resale value
Whether you’re thinking about selling now or in the future, planting a tree on your property can up the curb appeal and increase the value of your property. Not only will the value increase, but buyers are more likely to be interested in buying homes that have trees in their yard (good news for you, if you’re selling). For instance, the Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests reported to the Arbor Day Foundation that “in one study, 83% of realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%.” Pretty impressive for one tree!
5. Trees = Lower Crime Rates
Did you know that neighborhoods with more trees are also neighborhoods that have lower crime rates? It’s true - the US Forest Service reports that large trees, especially in (but not limited to) urban areas, can help prevent crime. Having a well cared-for tree in your yard suggests to outsiders that you pay attention and care about investing in your home and property, which means potential criminals are more likely to be caught. So whether you’re in an urban, suburban, or rural area, trees are great additions to your home and yard; give yourself and the Earth a gift by planting one this Earth Day weekend!