Every homeowner knows planting trees has aesthetic benefits. Put simply, trees can beautify your landscape. There are, however, many benefits to planting trees beyond their good looks.
A quality local landscaper can advise you on the best trees to plant for your needs as well as your unique landscape. In the meantime, let’s discuss some perks of “leaving” your bare landscape behind and trading it for one enriched by trees.
Planting Trees Shades And Cools Your Landscape And Home
Having a shade tree in your yard brings immediate cooling benefits, the importance of which can’t be overstated when you’re living in a desert climate like the one here in southern Utah.
Temperatures feel up to 10-15 degrees cooler in the shade. The temperature in a shaded area is not necessarily lower than that in sunlit areas, but it feels cooler because you’re avoiding exposure to solar radiation.
And when you sit under a tree, you feel even cooler than while sitting beneath manmade shade. This is because trees release heat-absorbing water into the atmosphere through a process called transpiration. Trees use their roots to draw water upwards from the soil, which then evaporates through their leaves and stems.
The bigger the tree, the more water it releases. A single large oak tree can emit 40,000 gallons of water into the atmosphere over the course of a year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Trees Shield Children From UltraViolet Rays
If you have a playground for your children or a lawn where they play, there is a distinct benefit to planting trees that will shade your recreational space. Trees can help shield your kids from ultraviolet rays—one of the biggest contributors to skin cancer—by some 50 percent.
Trees Can Lower Your Cooling And Heating Bills
By placing shade trees strategically around your home, you block the sun from the windows, the roof and the exterior walls. Depending on their density, the trees shading your home can reduce your summer cooling cost by 35 percent or more.
If you want to make a year-round impact on your energy bills, deciduous trees are a good choice to plant around your home. Because they lose their leaves, they let winter sun into your home, providing passive heating.
If you want some bang for your buck, the largest deciduous trees that thrive in the St. George area include:
- Arizona Ash
- Blue Ghost Eucalyptus
- Cottonless Cottonwood
- Fruitless Mulberry
- Fan-Tex Ash
- Japanese Pagoda
- Lacebark Elm
- London Plane Sycamore
- Modesto Ash
- Navajo Globe Willow
- Raywood Ash
- Weeping Willow
- Western Catalpa
- Western Cottonwood
Planting Trees Can Save Water
Here in St. George, the fact that trees save water is a decided benefit. When you water your lawn, the shade cast by trees significantly slows water evaporation. A newly-planted tree typically only needs about 15 gallons of water each week.
Planting Trees Helps Create Oxygen and Cleaner Air
Trees produce oxygen, and do so very effectively. A single tree produces close to 260 pounds of oxygen each year, while two mature trees create enough oxygen to sustain a family of four.
The unique chemistry of trees also includes absorbing carbon dioxide. In one year, one tree can absorb the amount of carbon emitted by a car driven 26,000 miles! Trees also improve our air quality by filtering pollutants such as ozone and sulfur dioxide as well as harmful dust from the air we breathe.
Trees Help Sustain Local Wildlife
Planting trees your also provide habitats for birds and small animals. Many of them also draw hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators.
The honey mesquite is a fine example. Almost more a shrub than a tree, they do very well in southern Utah. When they bloom, their golden flowers produce a fragrant honey that draws bees and other insects.
Trees Can Raise Your Property Value
People who show a love for nature are sometimes referred to as “tree-huggers,” generally in a pejorative way. There are times, however, when environmentalism has practical material effects. Because of their landscaping value, trees can increase the price your property fetches by 5% to 20%
At Stonetree landscaping, we know trees and we know how to make them thrive in this unique regional landscape. If you’re ready to bring your landscape to life, contact us for your free estimate.