My sister recently bought her first house. I vividly remember her excitement when she called me up and said, “Guess what? We found the perfect house! It’s one of those gorgeous craftsman homes with a beautiful, shady porch. And the backyard has this great tree. I just know Oliver is going to have the best time out there! Scott’s already planning to build a tree house.”
Remember when you were shopping for your house, or recall a time when you drove by a nice neighborhood and imagined what it would be like to live there. It probably had nice houses, maybe some white picket fences, and even more likely—lots of trees and greenery. Why? Because humans are drawn to neighborhoods surrounded by greenery, which has a calming and restorative effect on us.
And the beautiful thing about this attraction between people and greenery is that it results in not just happier humans, but also higher property values. It’s simple supply and demand. There is an increased demand for homes in neighborhoods full of trees, which leads to increases in price.
The benefit that property owners gain from having trees on their lots is known as “curb appeal”. One study on the influence of trees on residential property value showed that each large tree in the front-yard of a property was associated with approximately a 1% increase in the sale price.
So, the math is simple: it makes both dollars and sense to take care of the trees you have and to plant more. You can buy starter trees below $10 at reputable sellers like the Arbor Day Foundation or more mature trees for about $100-$300. The price will depend on the species, so if you are planting something more sought after, like Japanese maples, expect to pay more. But, remember that the value of trees will increase as they mature. The Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers states that, “a mature tree can often have an appraised value of $1,000 and $10,000.”
Whether you’re buying, selling, or just happy where you are for now, maintaining healthy trees and greenery is a good investment for any homeowner to make. And, it only gets better with time!