Trees are a deeply important part of our identities as Northern Californians. We feel comforted by their safety, awed by their beauty, and, at times, elementally connected to them. That connection can run very deep and for good reason; we (and countless other species) really wouldn’t be here without them. We grew up in the shade of California’s sycamores, oaks, and redwoods. We were just kids when we saw the tallest trees on Earth. Look up at the branches of a sequoia today and you’ll have the same feeling you did when you were little—you really are that unbelievably small. It’s no wonder we have such a powerful emotional connection to our trees. It seems like there’s never not an environmentalist trying their hardest to save a tree around these parts, which is a bit bittersweet.
Californians love saving trees and planting new ones whenever we can. The best place to start? Your property! Think twice before you cut down that tree! Hire an arborist to maintain those trees! Include more trees in your landscaping design! There are enormous and wide-ranging benefits to having trees on your property.
Shade & Sun
Deciduous trees—trees that lose their leaves seasonally—are the perfect thing to maximize your home’s shade in the summer and sunlight exposure in the winter. Plant these trees on the southern and western sides of your home to maximize their sunlight blocking power. Mature deciduous trees in the right location can cut your air conditioning needs (and costs) by up to 15%.
Trees aren’t just for us to ogle at. Trees provide a home for local wildlife, lessening the impact of human activity on the ecosystem. Trees on the outskirts of your property attract the most species, as they have the least likelihood of being disturbed.
Privacy & Noise Dampening
Evergreen trees are an amazing natural fence year round. Because evergreens don’t lose their leaves, they require less maintenance and can be used as a permanent barrier between your home and your neighbors’. Trees planted in this way also have the added benefit of buffering sound, making your property a little more peaceful.
Fruit trees are a great way to live a little more frugally. Enjoy fresh fruit directly from your yard, including cherries, plums, pears, apples, lemons, and many more.
Curb Appeal & Property Value
Perhaps the least obvious benefit a tree can impart on your home is an increased property value. Incorporating trees in your landscaping design can help you achieve a balanced curb appeal, dramatically increasing the chances that your home, should you choose to sell it, will get noticed. Spring-flowering trees make amazing accents for front yards. Neighborhoods with trees along the sidewalks have dramatically increased property values.
Here’s to the trees!
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