We all know the obvious value of trees – they look nice, provide shade, supply us with fruit and nuts. However, trees also have other values that we may never think of, but they are extremely important to us, possibly even more important than the obvious values.
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has identified these important contributions that trees make to our quality of life:
- Air Filtration – Trees filter out particulate matter and absorb harmful gases.
- Purifying Water – Trees improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water.
- Cost Reduction – Trees provide shade and shelter, reducing yearly heating and cooling costs by $2.1 billion.
- Climate Control – Trees moderate the effects of sun, wind and rain
- Increased Property Value – Well cared for, landscaped properties are 5% to 20% more valuable than non-landscaped properties.
- Protection – Trees protect the environment from the downward fall of rain, sleet and hail, as well as reduction of storm run-off and the possibility of flooding.
- Glare and Reflection Control
- Wind Break, Deflection and Filtration
- Sound Barrier
Trees have a dollar value of their own. Tree appraisers, who are usually either Board Certified Master Arborists, consulting arborists or certified arborists, can determine the dollar value of trees and plants by applying a set of criteria agreed upon by the organizations that make up the Council of Tree & Landscape Appraisers. If a tree is damaged or destroyed, you may be able to recapture some or all of your loss through an insurance claim or as a deduction from your federal income tax if you have a valuation by one of the professionals mentioned above.
I hope the next time you look at a tree, you’ll see more than a yard ornament that shades you from the summer heat. I hope you’ll look upon it as a living organism, like us, that works hard to make our environment, and our lives, better.