The Value of a Tree


It is another wonderful Wednesday.  The oppressive heat and humidity of summer seems to be behind us, and the warm days of early fall are ahead of us.  In fact, the current temperatures here in the southern tip of the great state of Ohio is more like early September rather than October.  Very pleasant indeed!

It is cool enough to get out and go hiking or bicycling along tree-lined road.  There are no leaves to rake, yet. There are bulbs to be planted and a few other chores (if you have a yard), but the biggest fall chore is raking the leaves.

Some people find raking leaves so distasteful that they cut down every tree they can, and then fuss when the neighbors leaves blow onto their property.

The U.S. Forest Service tells us, “Urban forests are dynamic ecosystems that provide critical benefits to people and wildlife. They help to filter air and water, control storm water, conserve energy, and provide animal habitat and shade. They add form, structure, and beauty to urban design. By reducing noise and providing places to recreate, urban forests strengthen social cohesion, spur community revitalization, and add economic value to our communities.”

The Forest Service estimates the value of the environmental service of a tree at $2,500.  This amount is more than three times the cost of maintaining a tree.  The shade from a tree can keep your house cooler in the summer, protect is from cold winds, and provide a rich mulch for your other plantings.

Would you rather pay the money for heating and cooling, instead of raking?  I have some good news.  You don’t have to rake.  Just run your mulching lawn mower over the leaves and let them be.  They will nourish your lawn as they decompose.

Need another reason to keep a tree?  Birds!  Not only do birds provide a pleasant background music, they eat bugs.  Plus, you can enjoy the shade of the tree while watching the birds.

We have been fortunate to live in areas with trees, parks, forests.  We have been heartbroken when we have moved, and the beautiful trees we have planted were cut down as a nuisance.  I think those people would have been happier in a high-rise.



11 thoughts on “The Value of a Tree

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  1. Trees are amazing “creatures.” Sacramento is the “City of Trees.” The drought that hit California had a big impact on so many trees. Even in my neighborhood, people stopped watering their yards and many of the trees didn’t make it. Makes me sick, and very sad.


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