If you’ve ever searched for a home online, you’re probably well acquainted with the words “mature trees.” This term is often included in property listings, and I frequently recommend to my seller clients that we include that in the listing. Why? Put simply, home buyers love the idea of a well-treed yard. Given the advantages that some extra foliage can provide, you should too!
Of course, it’s not just mature trees that deserve to be appreciated. Majestic oaks can do a lot for your home, but so can pretty dogwoods and space-saving dwarf apple species. Whatever your outdoor space is like, chances are good that it could benefit from a few trees.
Here are 5 reasons you should consider planting and caring for trees on your property…
1) It’s a good investment
Believe it or not, beautiful older trees can help you bring in more money when it’s time to sell. Studies show that having mature trees on a well-landscaped property can increase your home’s value by 7 to 19 per cent. That’s an investment worth preserving!
If you’re lucky enough to have mature trees on your property, one of the best things you can do is maintain them. If the weather is dry for a long period of time, provide water. Try to avoid damaging bark with lawnmowers and other machinery. Most importantly, you should strongly consider calling an arborist if any of your mature trees look like they might be sick or dying.
2) They create curb appeal
Of course, not every homeowner has towering trees on their property. Luckily, if you own a house with a front lawn, you can still reap the benefits of beautiful foliage when it comes time to sell. It’s just a matter of choosing the perfect smaller trees to ramp up your curb appeal!
If you’re going the ornamental route, consider cherry, apple, or flowering dogwood. If you don’t have much space to work with, you still have plenty of options. My favourites include the weeping rosebud (known for its beautiful heart-shaped leaves) and viridis Japanese maple (a small option that offers plenty of lush coverage).
3) They can provide cost savings
More and more, I find that buyers are asking about the energy efficiency of homes. It makes sense. We all want to see lower numbers on those monthly bills—and minimize our ecological footprints to boot!
While there are many ways to reduce consumption, one that few people think about is increasing their tree coverage. Studies show that the shade provided by lush foliage can save you an impressive 30 per cent on your energy bills! By providing shadier conditions in the summer—along with protection from severe weather—large trees like white oaks and American sycamores can provide both cost savings and natural shelter.
4) Trees can improve the air
Living in a big, vibrant city like Toronto has its upsides. Unfortunately, pristine air isn’t one of them. Don’t get me wrong, the pollution here pales in comparison to what you’ll find in many other urban centres. That said, who doesn’t want to breathe in the cleanest air possible?
It’s something kids learn in elementary school, and it’s absolutely true. By producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide (and other pollutants like ammonia), a tree acts a lot like a set of lungs. Having a few in your backyard can help ensure that you and your family enjoy clean air today, and in the future!
5) They can increase your quality of life
Last but certainly not least, being near trees can make you feel good. What better way to boost your mood than by visiting your own little leafy refuge? It’s one of the reasons home buyers like to inspect backyards so thoroughly. They’re imagining themselves firing up the grill under an oak-tree canopy, or sipping their morning coffee while the leaves rustle in nearby birch branches.
If you’re looking for ways to turn your property into an outdoor oasis, one idea is to create a beautiful butterfly habitat. With the right combination of nectar and host plants, you can do just that—and trees definitely have an important role to play. In particular, oak, willow, and chokecherry trees are all butterfly favourites.
If you’d like to see more trees in your yard but you don’t have a green thumb (or an eye for design), never fear! An associate at your local nursery can provide the advice you need to do some strategic planting. Those whose yards need a major overhaul might want to get in touch with a landscape designer instead.
Lastly, consider looking into LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests). This non-profit helps homeowners plant native trees at a more affordable price than they otherwise would. LEAF can subsidize about half the value of the services you use, resulting in major cost savings. Given this support—and the many benefits of having a well-treed property—why not plant a tree and watch it grow?