How smart tree planning and planting helps neighborhoods.
“The best friend on earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright
One of the world’s best known architects and visionaries recognized long ago what modern studies now prove: trees greatly increase the appeal of any property – from new subdivisions to commercial centers, from offices to your own backyard.
Research shows that trees stimulate economic development. They help attract new business – even tourism. Retail areas with trees are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and land that is wooded is more valuable. Real estate appraisals of comparable houses with and without trees place a markedly higher value on those with yards sheltered by trees.
There’s little doubt that trees add beauty and visual excitement to urban and suburban settings. These areas would be harsh with square-edged structures and hard, paved surfaces without the softening presence of trees. Trees also enhance architectural designs, provide privacy and frame views. Varying textures and colors of foliage, flowers, bark and fruit create multiple seasons of interest.
Yet smart tree planning and planting does much more than beautify an area. It also serves many practical purposes.
For example, many people love the airy, open feeling lots of natural lighting gives interior spaces. But, if you’re designing/building homes and offices, glare on TV or computer screens is a worry. Go ahead and put in plenty of skylights and windows! Planting trees of correct mature size, shape and density in the proper places can help make unwanted reflections a non-issue.
A good part of smart planning also means being knowledgeable about tree growth rates, strength, brittleness, and root systems so when foundations, sidewalks, driveways, sewers, gas, water and power lines are installed there won’t be problems later on. It’s important to realize that the framework of major roots usually lies less than eight to 12 inches below the surface. And that roots often grow outward to a diameter one to two times the height of the trees. Luckily, most modern sewers involve cemented pipe that greatly reduces tree roots getting into and clogging sewers.