garden trees
President Barack Obama, along with Grounds Superintendent Dale Haney and White House Chief Usher Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon (Ret.), participates in a commemorative tree planting ceremony on the North Grounds of the White House, October 28, 2009.

The Zen of Garden Trees: How Mature Trees Benefit You

There’s little that will add greater value to your home and provide benefits far beyond the aesthetic besides trees. Many of us take these beautiful plants for granted when designing and planning a property maintenance routine. However, they improve individual properties and offer benefits to the entire community. Below, we’ll talk about how you can maintain the health of your existing garden trees, things to consider if you want to incorporate new elements into your landscape, and some of the indirect benefits of having trees nearby.

Trees Add Balance

When designing a fresh landscape or updating an existing plan, planting new trees will bring overall balance to the concept, although it might not seem like it right away. Mature trees act as anchor points for elements within a landscape. They also provide much-needed relief to the human eye, intermixing size and shape, color, and brightness with shade. The psychological benefits of having trees within view also extend to home safety. Studies have shown that homes with well-maintained arboriculture are less likely to be burglarized or vandalized. This effect has led realtors to estimate the value of properties with mature trees as being up to 20 percent higher than those without.

Trees assist with soil retention and better drainage after rainfall. They also act as a filtering agent for air, water, soil, and ambient noise. They clean and cool the air as well as produce oxygen. They also hold the soil and reduce the negative erosion of arable soils all while filtering out toxic substances that are otherwise free to seep into groundwater. Trees furthermore provide privacy and peace, blocking the noise of neighbors, traffic, and city life. When properly planted and maintained, there’s nothing not to love about trees. One study conducted in the US indicated that trees are actually an indicator of affluence and the social status of neighborhoods.

Some Tree Maintenance Tips

Maintain the canopy and the root system to ensure that your garden trees not only are healthy but also don’t cause property damage in the event of high winds or heavy precipitation. As part of your tree care efforts each season, you should examine the canopy for dead, loose, or broken limbs and branches. Remove these and any dead wood, which will be brittle and easy to cut out. Be sure to also remain vigilant for signs of blight or disease that may impact your trees. Many diseases present themselves in spotted or dead foliage during the growing season.

The bark of your tree should display no signs of breakage or depredation by insects. Because certain trees are attractive to beetles and mites, do you homework on existing or prospective trees. Lastly, ensure that your trees have a secure anchor point in the earth. Root systems are delicate, and damage to these can have impacts on the rest of the tree’s integrity. If you have exposed roots or note that damage has occurred from digging projects, take steps to stabilize the tree, and repair the damage as much as possible. One easy way to keep roots happy is to mulch thoroughly around the base of the trunk. This provides excellent cover and moisture retention for the tree. It also acts as a barrier between the roots and any surface activity, ensuring that the roots stay protected from incidental harm.

The Cost-Benefit Assessment of Trees

While maintaining mature trees can cost a bit of cash, a single mature tree can be valued at between $1,200 and $12,331 (AUD), according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. In addition, the USDA tabulated that the net cooling benefit of a single healthy tree is equivalent to ten single-room air conditioning units operating 20 hours per day. These are some significant figures that only begin to address the benefits of maintaining mature trees in your garden.

If you plant young garden trees for their future energy conservation properties and beautiful foliage, be sure to situate them far enough from your home and know where major service lines are buried, if any. Tree roots can do some significant damage to sewer, septic, water, and electrical lines as well as undermine home foundations when they’re planted too close. Careful planning and planting can prevent this.

If you’re uncertain about performing any of these routine maintenance tasks, touch base with your local tree care specialists; their main goal is to increase the health and beauty of the trees in the area. Arborists can enrich the ecology of your neighborhood and help trees continue to do what they do best: make this earth a better, happier, and healthier place for everyone and everything to live.

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