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The Value of Big Trees: How Mature Trees Boost Property Value and Community Well-Being


Towering trees on your property are not only beautiful; they add to the value of your home. Nationwide, mature trees on well-maintained property that provide privacy can increase the property value by 7 to 19 percent. 

Not only does the price of the property go higher—trees help sell a property more quickly than homes with little or no landscaping. The "curb appeal" factor impresses potential buyers when they pull up to the property. Buyers simply love trees and well-kept properties.

Plant with a Plan

harming Blue House with Well-Kept Trees

A Blue House with Well-Planned Tree Cover - Photo by Ian MacDonald on Unsplash

If a property owner has a bare lot, it is wise to consult a professional landscaper before planting. As it takes five to seven years for plants to mature, planting haphazardly can have disastrous results, with windows being hidden by overgrown plants and tree roots destroying underground pipes and causing a driveway to buckle. Poorly planned landscaping weakens any effort to add value to the property.

Trees Increase Property Value

Studies have proven that properties with mature trees and beautiful landscaping attract buyers, shoppers, and tenants, which can lead to premium prices. Additionally, the proximity of healthy, beautiful trees directly affects property value.

  • Good tree cover increased property prices by about 7% in residential areas and 18% for building lots.
  • Quality landscaping with healthy trees around shopping venues can increase retail spending from 9 to 12%.
  • Tree-filled office properties can expect 7% higher rents than those without trees or quality landscaping.

Trees Save Energy and Benefit the Environment

Aerial View of a Green Neighborhood

Suburban Homes Surrounded by Trees - Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Trees are a critical component for a more sustainable environment. Functioning ecosystems with healthy trees and vegetation help with pollution control, stormwater management, and soil and water conservation.

During the summer, shade provided by trees cuts energy use. In the winter, trees that have lost their leaves allow the sun to filter through and warm buildings and homes. They can also act as a buffer against cold winter winds Carefully positioned trees can save 25-35% in energy consumption per year, all of which means that trees have a direct impact on reducing energy usage and conserving resources—the healthier and bigger the trees and their canopy, the bigger the impact.

Trees Increase Well-Being and Reduce Crime

Trees also make a tremendous difference to communities at large, creating more attractive places where we live, work, play and conduct business. Trees offer tranquil spaces and shade, and provide protection from wind, noise, and rain. Trees also help build community. Tony Hiss, author of The Experience of Place, notes that in Chicago's public housing projects, the residents of buildings surrounded by trees and green spaces had a stronger sense of community, better relationships with their neighbors, and fewer incidents of domestic violence.

Homes with Verdant Hillside Backdrop

Historic San Francisco Homes Benefit from Abundant Tree Cover

As detailed in the Wandering Arborist blog, it pays to preserve and plant big trees:

“Whether you're weighing the costs of preserving mature trees on your property or planting big trees on a property you're developing, consider the immediate and long-term benefits. Above all, work with a certified arborist to ensure the health of your trees, and the value they offer will continue for years to come."

"When it comes to trees and the benefits and services they provide to us, size makes a huge difference...put at its simplest...the bigger, the better. 

"There are a great many studies from different parts of the world that all come to the same conclusions—bigger trees [and] bigger canopies give us greater benefits. 

It's not all that difficult to understand why, since it is the canopy, the surface area of the foliage, which has the greatest impact on many of the services that our urban trees deliver."

"Now, there are some obvious, immediate implications for the management of our urban forest that result from this well-founded, well-researched argument.

"When it comes to urban planning decisions, the retention of existing, established large trees should be a key objective. Now, I am sure that most of those reading this will have heard claims about replacement/mitigation plantings more than making up for the loss of existing trees.

"It is a sad fact that in the last 50 years, we have been spectacularly unsuccessful in growing large trees in our urban areas. Partly, this is due to a failure in the past to understand the soil volume requirements for healthy, stable tree growth, [and] it is also due to a failure to recognize the importance of our urban trees, cutting costs in planting preparation [and] establishment maintenance, and a total failure to protect that growing space against pressures from in-ground services.

It seems to be a fairly simple equation: Big trees in our urban areas are immensely valuable, [and] growing replacement big trees in our urban areas is very hard...we should therefore place far greater value on the big trees we already have, [and] retaining and protecting them within new developments should be the default urban planning position."


Arborist Now is the expert in urban forestry. Contact us for a consultation with one of our skilled arborists for help with caring for your existing trees. We can also help you decide on the best trees to plant around your property so you can reap the most benefits and help nature thrive.

Originally published on April 24, 2017.

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