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The World Going Green

The Zen of Garden Trees: How Trees Benefit You, Your Garden, & the Earth

There’s little that will add greater value to your home and provide benefits far beyond the aesthetic than trees. Many of us take these beautiful plants for granted when designing and planning a maintenance routine. However, they improve both individual properties and offer their benefits to the entire community. Below, we’ll talk about how you can maintain the health of your existing trees, things to consider if you want to incorporate new elements into your landscape, and some of the indirect features of having trees nearby.

Trees Add Balance

When designing a fresh landscape or updating an existing plan, planting new trees will bring overall balance to the concept, although it might not seem like it right away. Mature trees act as anchor points for elements within a landscape. They also provide much-needed relief to the human eye, intermixing size and shape, color, and brightness with shade. The psychological benefits of having trees within view also extend to home safety. Studies have shown that homes with well-maintained arboriculture are less likely to be burglarized or vandalized. This effect has led realtors to estimate the value of properties with mature trees up to 20 percent higher than those without.

Trees assist with soil retention and better drainage after rainfall. They also act as a filtering agent for air, water, soil, and ambient noise. They clean and cool the air, and produce oxygen; they hold the soil and reduce negative erosion of arable soils all while filtering out toxic substances that are otherwise free to seep into groundwater; they provide privacy and peace, cutting the noise of neighbors, traffic, and city life. When properly planted and maintained, there’s nothing not to love about trees. One study that was conducted in the U.S. indicated that trees are actually an indicator of affluence and social status of neighborhoods. Given the similarity of western cultural urban and suburban planning, we might draw some parallels between our two countries in this regard.

Some Maintenance Tips

Maintain the canopy and the root system in order to ensure not only that your trees are healthy, but also that they don’t cause property damage in the event of high winds or heavy precipitation. Each season, you should examine the canopy for dead, loose, or broken limbs and branches. Remove these and any dead wood, which will be brittle and easily cut out. While you’re at it, be sure to remain vigilant for signs of blight or disease that may impact your trees. Many diseases present themselves in spotted or dead foliage during the growing season.

The bark of your tree should display no signs of breakage or depredation by insects. Since certain trees are attractive to beetles and mites, do you homework on existing or prospective trees. And lastly, ensure that your trees have a secure anchor point in the earth. Root systems are delicate, and damage to these can have impacts on the rest of the tree’s integrity. If you have exposed roots or note that damage has occurred from digging projects, take steps to stabilize the tree and repair the damage as much as possible. One easy way to keep roots happy is to mulch thoroughly around the base of the trunk. This provides excellent cover and moisture retention for the tree. It also acts as a barrier between the roots and any surface activity, ensuring that the roots stay protected from incidental harm.

The Cost-Benefit Assessment of Trees

While maintaining mature trees can cost a bit of cash, a single mature tree can be assessed with a value of between $1,200 and $12,331 (AUD) according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. As well, the USDA tabulated that the net cooling benefit of a single healthy tree is equivalent to ten single-room air conditioning units operating 20 hours per day. These are some significant figures that only begin to address the benefits of maintaining mature trees in your garden.

If you plant young trees for their future energy conservation properties and beautiful foliage, be sure to situate them far enough from your home and know where major service lines are buried, if any—tree roots can do some significant damage to sewer, septic, water, and electrical lines, as well as undermine home foundations when they’re planted too close. Careful planning and planting can avert this.

If you’re uncertain about performing any of these routine maintenance tasks, touch base with your local tree care specialists - their main goal to increase the health and beauty of the trees in the area. Arborists enrich the ecology of your neighborhood and help trees continue to do what they do best - make this earth a better, happier, and healthier place for everyone and everything to live.

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