Grow your property value by planting a tree

Can a tree really increase value? The numbers may surprise you.

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From the September/October 2013 issue of the magazine.

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tree_296Turns out trees can raise the average home’s value by more than $19,000—and save you $180 or more a year on your energy bills.

Energy savings: Properly located trees can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% ($57 per year), and save 20% or more on heating costs ($120+ per year).

Curb appeal: A property with healthy, mature trees could easily sell in excess of 5% more—$19,350 on average—and that’s a conservative figure.

Not just any tree: The value of a tree can plummet by as much as 50% if the species isn’t desirable for a specific area. Balsam fir, for example, does poorly in urban environments. But slower growing trees, such as oak, usually offer the most value as they provide more shade and stay healthier longer.

Placement counts: Plant needle-bearing trees on the north and west side of your home to block winter winds. For shade in the summer, plant deciduous varieties on the south end of your lot.

Handle with care: Much of a tree’s ability to enhance property value depends on how it’s maintained. Trees with dead branches and missing bark are considered a risk to your property and will actually decrease your home’s value.

—Vanessa Santilli

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