How do You Place a Value on Your Trees?
You may have taken notice of a few high profile incidents of tree removals or tree destruction around the DFW area lately. The removal of 70 established trees on a Redbird property to allow for new construction; or the butchering of 75 trees on Forest Lane so the owner’s business could be seen from the road. Both are proof that we still have a long way to go when it comes to placing a common value on our urban forest.
There are many different ways to value a tree, and many of us will prioritize their value in different ways. But we can break down a tree’s value into a few common personal priorities: emotion, aesthetics, financial savings, and financial gain. These priorities are easier for us each to quantify, because we can measure them to some degree.
But we can’t forget that trees bring value to our personal physical and mental health and the environmental health of our communities as a collective. As communities we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our urban forests and make rational decisions about their care. It’s on these points that individual homeowners, developers, and city governments tend to disagree.
Our report on the State of the Denton Urban Forest and the very important role trees play in the lives of city dwellers both professionally and personally is in the link below.
Trees evoke emotion
Some trees are priceless. You might have planted one upon moving into a new home, to commemorate the birth or death of a loved one, or as a gift from a friend or loved one. These trees are the trees with which we form emotional bonds and hold memories for us. Memory trees are special and we take extra special care and measures to protect and extend the life of such trees.
Tree beauty adds value
We don’t know about you, but we’d rather look at a healthy stand of trees than at more concrete. Many studies have proven that plants and trees significantly improve our mental state of mind and health when we view them. Healthy and beautiful trees help improve the aesthetics of both the individual property and the surrounding community. Not to mention, significantly improve property values.
Trees are also important habitat for local wildlife. If you don’t have many trees on your property, and you love nature and the outdoors, then planting a tree will provide habitat and shelter for the birds. And, butterflies and bees when the right blooming trees are planted, you provide nectar and pollen for the butterflies and bees.
Trees save money and the environment
Did you know that a tree shading a home can reduce the need for air conditioning up to 30 percent in summer? Other benefits of trees that improve our health or save us city tax and personal household dollars include: cleaning the air of toxins by absorbing them through their foliage. Some of the most prominent toxins are Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide, plus trees produce more oxygen. A tree’s healthy and expansive root system prevents water runoff and soil erosion so our waterways and drinking water stay clear of chemicals and sludge from both commercial and residential lawns.
We think trees are key to a healthier, happier, richer and more fulfilling life. And we could go on all day about all the other reasons trees are important in our urban communities. Ultimately, sometimes a tree must be pruned severely or removed when circumstances require it. But we should all take a moment to evaluate the consequences of unnecessary tree removals and make sure we’re abiding by city tree ordinances that protect certain trees and require specific tree replacements. Here at Preservation Tree, we always work to preserve trees when we can, and make sure we operate within the city tree ordinance requirements.
Come back to the blog next week when we’ll delve into some of the Dallas/Fort Worth Tree ordinances so you can learn about when trees are protected and actions you may need to take if you remove a tree.