Many people see the value trees provide for shade and attractiveness but many are unaware of the economic and environmental advantages.
Trees reduce the amount of stormwater runoff leaving your property. The leaves and branches on trees intercept rainfall, capturing and slowing it. By decreasing the impact of rain drops on paved surfaces, trees actually keep these surfaces in better condition. Trees also improve groundwater recharge by returning larger quantities and better quality water. They increase soil infiltration and storage and minimize runoff through processes like evapotranspiration. Each of these services helps communities meet stormwater regulations and keeps pollutants out of waterbodies. For residential homes, savings from tree plantings are approximately $10.80 per gallon of stormwater prevented from entering the sewer system. For commercial properties, these savings increase to $23.36 per gallon!
Planting trees can also help decrease energy usage. Trees provide shade in summer and release water back into the atmosphere, cooling air temperatures by 5-10ºF. Cooler air temperatures decrease the amount of air conditioning buildings require to maintain comfortable temperatures – and, therefore, save you money. During colder months, trees can intercept cold winds. Slower winds mean less impact and can reduce building heating requirements. Overall, trees can reduce energy consumption by 8-12%, saving households about $10 on energy uses. One large tree can save businesses up to $45 annually in energy costs!
Reducing energy usage will decrease the amounts of associated pollutants released into the atmosphere. Trees also use many common air pollutants to create energy for themselves and further decrease atmospheric concentrations. In fact, trees absorb 120-240 lbs of air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone and intercept particulate matter. Considering clean-up costs of these pollutants range from $2.06-$3.34/lb, planting a tree will save your community money in the long run. Improved air quality also has numerous health benefits!
Trees have actually been shown to be beneficial for businesses and retail centers. Through careful plant selection, trees help create visual identity for businesses. Studies show that customers actually prefer areas with orderly, well-maintained planting schemes with tree canopies and accessory vegetation enough to spend 8-12% more at businesses with this landscape. Rankings for amenity and comfort, quality of products, and customer service were much higher in businesses with these types of landscapes as well. Consumers also specified that they would be willing to pay more for parking in areas shaded by trees, helping to offset the costs of any parking spaces devoted to tree planting. Coupled with the other benefits above, trees can actually help create a more profitable business!
Consider planting a tree to increase the value of your property and help the environment. Click here for some tips on what trees to avoid in urban environments.