Friday, June 27

The Benefits of Trees

Did you know that trees and green grass make you and your kids smarter?
Did you know that trees increase the value of your property by as much as $20,000?
Yes. They do.
I used to have this conversation with a good friend of mine all the time. What makes a neighborhood lined with trees feel cozier and more relaxing, rather than tract home developments with no trees? Why are we drawn to areas with trees such as parks and why do people (not all) buy houses in older neighborhoods because of their mature tree numbers?

This was brought to the surface again this week when my neighbor informed me that they are cutting down this beautiful, mature, healthy locust tree in their backyard...."because it messes up the patio." I was shocked. I guess living in Denver is part of my issue. Denver does not have an abundance of trees. It is like pulling teeth to get a tree to grow and prosper here. Unlike the northeast. (ahhh, the northeast). We have a deficit of trees here and trees are good for us. Trees are good for many things.
Christy and I bought our house partly because of the trees in the neighborhood. Now I know you cannot predict or dictate what your neighbors do, but it was a factor.

With Denver's Mile High Million - plant 1 million trees, I thought, well, if the city is so gung ho about planting this many trees, then maybe they would frown upon people needlessly cutting these natural wonders down for little or no reason. The answer, well, is no. Well, not NO, they don't care, but no, there are no laws against this. I understand, we don't want any more of a dictatorship in this FREE country of ours, but I thought maybe there were some possible boundaries for homeowners/developers intending on cutting down things that take FOREVER to grow....blah blah blah.

In order to talk to my neighbor and educate him on why he might want to rethink taking this tree out, I called the city arborist. This guy knows his stuff. I thought it might be illegal to take down such a healthy tree, but as it turns out, the only legality involving trees is of trees that are "owned" by the city. Trees that fall within three feet of the street or trees that line the road are the city's property and cannot be cut without permission.

Here are some informative tree links, if you are interested:

Why trees are good in Social and Domestic aspects

Trees increase home and property values

All of your tree questions answered here

Research has also shown that trees have significant mental health benefits: Kid’s test scores are higher and people heal faster when they have views of green spaces & trees and there are fewer incidences of violence in environments with trees.


saffry said...

We have little tree nursery in our backyard that we got from the Arbor day foundation. 2 red maples, 3 or 4 apples and one dwarf cherry. It will be a long while before they're mature, but it's a start. We're going to move them this fall to different areas of the yard.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure about the future of our sugar maples. We lost one already, and the one closest to the driveway is in bad shape. I need to see how to propagate from them so that their strong genes live on.

painterjoy said...

Oh, I totally agree! I love, love that I can see trees out the bedroom window. I don't think it makes me smarter, definitely happier.

One of the reasons we have not found a condo yet is because seeing trees out of the windows is a requirement of mine.

Shame on your neighbor! You can tell them Joy says so. Crap like that makes me so frustrated at the ignorance of it all.

Maybe they won't do it because of the expense. We can hope.

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