Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees
When it comes to investing, trees are almost certainly not one of the things that pops into peoples’ minds. For home or property owners, though, they should be. While trees can provide shade and shelter, they also can provide monetary value by increasing what your property is worth especially if proper tree care services have been utilized to keep the trees healthy!
It may seem a little unbelievable, but it’s true. All the way back in 1981, the U.S. tax court determined that the value of a Virginia couple’s home dropped by $15,000 after an 80 foot tall, 100 year old black oak tree was killed by insects. Now, obviously a century old tree isn’t in the realm of possibility for most of us (not without some time!) but the idea holds true for all healthy, mature trees.
A well cared for tree, when it comes down to it, is one of the best purchases a homeowner can make. Almost everything else we buy, from clothes, to cars, to computers, all start losing value the moment they’re purchased. Trees, on the other hand, can grow in size and value with every day. According to the United States Forest Service, trees can increase property values by as much as 10% (the black oak tree mentioned before came out to 9% of the total value).
Properly placed trees can save you money too. If trees have been strategically placed around a structure as windbreaks, they can save up to 25% on heating costs during the cold winter months. On the other end of the spectrum, large trees on the east and west sides of a home can save the homeowner an average of 30% on annual air conditioning costs!
Simply planting a tree isn’t enough of course; time and care needs to be taken to ensure that trees grow properly and remain healthy. Consideration needs to be given to the type of tree and the area in which you live. In urban and suburban areas, temperatures tend be higher and light, wind and water are all effected by the surroundings. The Colorado Forest Service has a great PDF that goes into detail about suggested trees for Colorado residents and promotes healthy tree care, including watering and pruning.
As with any investment, proper research is key. If you’re going to plant a new tree or trees, take the time to figure out what is right, invest in a high-quality tree, and maintain it with proper tree care services such as pruning when needed. After all, if you’re hoping for your tree to grow 100+ years and be ‘worth’ $15,000, you need to start with a healthy, quality tree.