Trees can bring a homeowner an enormous amount of benefits, not least providing aesthetic value to gardens. They can also increase the value of the property and many house buyers prefer to look at a home that has one or more trees in or around the grounds.
However, anyone who has had to clean up a yard and trees after a storm will understand that there is a certain amount of maintenance needed to keep trees in tip-top shape.
In fact, if you don’t look after your trees properly it could cost you a lot of inconvenience and money. Here are some of the reasons why it is worth looking after your trees, and what might happen if you don’t.
Why should you have trees?
You may wonder if it is really worth having trees in your garden if there is going to be maintenance to worry about, but they bring a wealth of benefits too.
Having a tree or more in your garden or on the street can mean you benefit from the following:
- Protection for your home during storms
- Reducing chill factor during winter
- Cooling the home during sunny days
- Make landscapes and gardens more beautiful
- Provide shade for the garden
- Promote a healthy ecosystem
- Provide shelter for wildlife
- Increase the value of your property
- Conserve water
- Can provide you with fruit
On top of all these benefits, trees can also protect other plants from the sun, and be entertaining for children. Sturdy trees make great climbing areas for children, rope swings can be added, and a treehouse built on them.
You can see some of the areas in more detail below, and also what it will cost you if you don’t look after your trees.
Trees can look after and protect your home
Many areas in the states are prone to storms, hail, and heavy winds. Certain trees can be very good at protecting homes from the elements. Some trees can provide a barrier for the home against cold winds.
In the autumn as leaves fall from trees, they let the sunlight through to help warm the home, and in summer they do the opposite.
By shading the home in hot weather they help to both cool the home and save you money. The biggest domestic use of electricity in the USA is through air conditioning units. Trees can help reduce the need for AC by providing a canopy and keeping the sun’s rays from hitting the roof and walls.
They help to provide a healthy ecosystem
Keen gardeners will understand the importance of balance in the garden. Trees protect lawns from drying out by sheltering them, they provide homes for useful insects and wildlife such as birds.
They can provide shelter from heavy rain and storms for other plants and flowers, and they let their owners enjoy the garden by shading them too. Everyone enjoys a sunny day, but it is much more pleasurable to have a tree providing some cooler space to relax in rather than being fully exposed to the sun.
They increase the value of your home
Depending on what trees you plant, and more importantly, where you plant them, the value of your home will increase.
Fruit trees are a wonderful addition to a home for a few good reasons. They often have beautiful blossoms, they look aesthetically pleasing, and they provide free fruit. An apple tree can take as little as 4 or 5 years before you start enjoying being able to pick your own fruit.
You don’t even need to have trees on your actual property to reap the financial benefits either. One study conducted in Portland, Oregon, showed that public street trees directly and positively affected nearby house prices. It was shown that collectively, property in the city rose by over $1 billion.
While these trees are looked after by taxes and city departments, if you have trees on your property then they will be your responsibility.
What problems can arise by having trees in your garden?
All the benefits of tree ownership might be very appealing, but some problems could arise too.
Some problems with trees are:
- Storm damage
- They can die
- Can worsen cracked pipes
- Can reach power and telephone lines
All of these areas might require tree surgery and that means calling in professional help. People sometimes plant trees below power lines without considering how tall the tree will grow. This will need some careful pruning to prevent any problems.
Also, there is something of a myth that trees can damage pipes and foundations, but there is some truth in it. Tree roots are unlikely to be strong enough to damage foundations as they are built to support large structures, but they could affect your pipes.
Pipes can unknowingly become cracked and tree roots whose job it is to find water will exploit this issue. Roots will normally grow up and over pipes, as they spread out, however, if they sense a crack and moisture, then they can further damage the pipe.
The two biggest areas that are likely to cause you concern and a lot of money, are disease and storms.
Many different diseases can affect trees in various ways. Some of these are not too serious but will require a tree surgeon to treat them. Others can cause more damage, and some such as Botrytis Blight can spread from the fruit of trees to other plants and berries.
Left untreated a tree could even die. Oak wilt is one fungal disease that can result in death. Rotting or dead trees might need to be removed, and if they are not, then they can become a danger.
A dead tree is a hazard that needs professional tree removal. Dead branches can fall and hurt people or damage property. In a heavy storm, a dead tree will be at risk of toppling. If the tree falls on your or your neighbor’s property, you could be in for an expensive time.
Although nature is at fault, insurance companies might see it very differently if they find out you neglected to remove a dangerous tree.
Storm damage can be very costly
You may understand that attic ventilation is very important, but it is unlikely you would want a storm to provide it for you.
Failure to use professionals to advise, prune, and maintain your trees could lead to a disaster in a storm. While your insurance company will cover storm damage, it may also result in higher premiums, loss of prized possessions, and an awful lot of inconvenience.
Professionals are also covered by insurance when carrying out tree surgery. If you choose to try and prune your trees to prevent damage to the home in a storm, you might end up out of pocket. Lopping off branches yourself and damaging the home will result in a trip to the bank as your insurer will not payout.
To fully enjoy the beauty and the other benefits that trees bring, they need to be cared for. Trees are living things and need to be treated as such. A well looked after tree could be enjoyed in your garden for your whole life, indeed many trees can far outlast humans.
However, to get the best out of them, professional tree surgeons are needed. Trying to perform home maintenance on trees could lead to damage to your home that won’t be covered by any insurance. It could even lead to the death of your tree.