How investing in your trees could save and possibly make you money!
Trees planted or located in the right place can be an investment that offer a high reward and will only keep growing as you care for it. Whether it's planting new trees or caring for mature trees, it’s a financial investment that can offer a good return in a number of ways.
1. It’s proven that a well maintained garden with trees can increase a property value by at least 16% (source: ‘2011 Husqvarna Global Garden Report’), as well as street trees adding value to the area that they are in.
2. Research from the University of Washington indicates that larger trees on residential properties, as well as street trees, can add 3-15% to market values. Homes adjacent to “naturalistic parks and open spaces” transact at 8-20% greater market value than homes not near trees.
3. Shade from well planted trees can save on cooling costs during summer and offer great protection from strong winds and rain in the winter, sheltering your property.
4. In farming or animal care, stock with access to shade are less stressed and happier meaning more healthy and productive animals.
5. Shops and commercial zones with large trees and green areas are proven to have better sales and productivity than areas without. This is because the trees provide shade, a relaxing effect and an aesthetically pleasing environment. This means that people stay in the area longer and are more relaxed, therefore more likely to spend money.
The facts are there to support how trees can benefit your pocket. But like all investments, they can backfire if you don’t know what you are doing. The wrong tree in the wrong place could end up costing you money in the long run, but the right tree in the right place could see you reap the rewards.
Knowing the right tree to plant in your location is key, as different climates, soil types, and space to grow are just come of the factors that will need to be considered before you buy a tree. Doing your research is key to give you a maximum pay off. Ensuring that you have a tree that is suited to its location will mean that the tree has the best possible start as soon as you have planted it. So, spending the time to do it right is the first real investment you can make.
A great guide to planting your trees can be found on the U.S web site: trees are good. www.treesaregood.org/treeowner/choosingtherighttree
Once you’ve spent the time researching and finding the right tree for you and your location and you have planted it using the correct techniques, surely that's all right - you can sit back a relax? Unfortunately not; those first few years are the key time that you can really ensure your investment will pay off. There are a few things you can do to really increase the likelihood that your tree will thrive and cost you less to maintain down the line.
· Watering - Watering is key to allow a new plant to establish, grow and develop. Different trees over time will require different amounts of water, but this is when your research will come in handy. If the tree dies from lack of water, you not only lose the money and effort invested, but you also lose time which the tree could be growing.
· Mulching trees of any age will offer massive benefits by helping retain water, suppression of weeds, provision of organic matter, nutrients and help to maintain stable soil temperature.
· Formative pruning - Formative pruning can remove any potential structural issue at a young age and be used to develop canopy form so that it won’t cause issues with its surrounding environment.
· Guards - Guards can help protect your young tree from animal damage from stock, wildlife and pets.
This all might seem like a lot of time and money to put into a tree but compare it to the time and money you spend on a lawn i.e. the cost of a mower, fuel, irrigation, feeds etc. Over the lifetime of the tree, you’ll see that expenditure is tiny compared to the lawn. The main difference being that the value of a lawn will stay the same and the tree value should increase with size.
Once your tree is established the maintenance and costs of any work being needed far outweigh the financial gain of having the tree. But remember to protect your investment by:
· Watering - Watering your trees in times of drought is important. Rather than watering your lawn which will quickly grow back once the drought has finished, concentrate on your trees. If your tree dies it could take years to grow another one in its place. Remember mulch will also help retain that precious water.
· Keep an eye on your tree health - Watching for any signs of stress or ill health could be an early warning of pests or disease. The earlier you can catch this, the more likely you will be able to do something about them.
· Keep off its roots - Trees don’t like it when you compact the soil around their roots, so try not to drive over the root area when possible. Also, when planning landscaping or construction, excavation or damage to the root area can have detrimental effects to the overall health of the tree.
So with a relatively small investment of time and money, trees can pay you back with a large reward financially. Remember, finding the right tree to suit your area and needs, as well as caring for it, is the key to seeing the best return on your investment. People are lying when they say, “money doesn’t grow on trees”. Also bear in mind, this is only the financial benefits of trees. The health and well-being, environmental and community benefits they give us are staggering.
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