Friday, July 4, 2014

How Much Do Trees Raise Property Value?

It is widely known that trees raise property value.  Anyone who has gone to a housing addition with newly built homes lining the newly paved streets quickly feels the lack of trees and lawns. Just like a condo with brick walls for view will sell for a tiny fraction of a condo with Central Park for a view, homes with trees, especially stately trees in the front yard, can be worth considerably more.  There has been an effort recently to put a price tag on how much more.

According to the Pacific Northwest Research Station, a tree in the front yard of a home raises that home's price, on average, $7,130.  If the total increases for the neighborhood property value are tallied, the average is $12,828.  Trees also make houses more sale-able, decreasing time on the market by around 2 days, on average.

The Arbor Day Foundation lists similar benefits.  In one survey, 83% of realtors believed "mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%".  

Other surveys have found that mature trees can increase property values by up to 20%.

All of these studies of course cite mature, healthy trees.  No one wants to buy a house with a half dead Silver Maple or a split Bradford Pear.  So, if you are moving into a home without any front yard trees, you want to carefully consider what tree you plant, and the method in which you plant it.

First, regarding tree selection, our choice for most of the eastern half of the country would be a northern Red Oak.  

200602 Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) - USGS Forest Service Native Range Map.jpg
Northern Red Oak Range (From USGS)
Red Oaks are stately, strong, fast growing, and long lived.  They do not suffer from any catastrophic diseases like Dutch Elm Disease or Emerald Ash Borer.  They are very fast growing for oaks, and those in the author's neighborhood have grown as fast as surrounding Silver Maples (which is a much inferior tree but one know for its growth speed).

As the Western U.S. is generally quite a bit drier than the East, we recommend one of these deciduous trees: Honeylocust, Hackberry, Japanese Zolkova, Gingko (male), Bur Oak, or Honey Mesquite.  We discuss these trees in detail here.  

Regardless of which tree you plant, it is important to plant them in the proper way to ensure fast growth and long term survival.  The traditional tree planting method of buying a large, containerized tree from the garden center is very ill suited both to fast growth of trees and to their long term survival.  First, these trees have very malformed roots, and once planted these roots stay very near the surface.  This makes the tree dependent on frequent rains, and very poorly drought resistant.  Also, shallow roots can cause the tree to lean or blow over in stiff winds.  Finally, these trees often have a mismatch between their root system size and their canopy size.  Many home owners find that these trees barely grow for years after planting due to this mismatch, making them a very disappointing investment.

A better way to obtain fast growing, long lived trees is to plant bare root trees with the Groasis Waterboxx.  Bare root trees can be purchased by mail or grown from seed, and are much more affordable than containerized trees.  You can expect to spend ~1/10 the cost of a container planted tree for a bare root tree.  Because the tree is smaller initially (but only initially), it doesn't have the root/canopy disproportion.  The tree is planted early in its life cycle in its final location and grows naturally.

Planting bare root trees with the Groasis Waterboxx, you will never need to water them after first planting.  The Waterboxx collects dew and rainwater and slowly releases it to the roots of a growing tree.  The Waterboxx induces the roots to grow deep, anchoring the tree and also preventing damage and death during subsequent droughts.  The Waterboxx also prevents weed growth around the tree and prevents soil moisture from evaporating.  The Waterboxx can be reused up to ten 10 total.  You can compare the cost of Waterboxx planting with bare root trees to traditional planting with our calculator.  You will find the Waterboxx also prevents roots from growing to leaking pipes and other unintentional water sources, unless the pipe is immediately beneath the planted tree.  The Waterboxx also helps homeowners to conserve water.  

Be the first in your area to start growing plants with the Groasis Waterboxx.  You can buy the Groasis Waterboxx from Dew Harvest® LLC in the United States. We would love to hear your comments below - to leave one, please click on "Comments".

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