Fall: Best sea­son for plant­ing trees that boost home value

Cecil Whig - - & & -

— Plant­ing a tree is an in­vest­ment in the fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to a Greek proverb: “A so­ci­ety grows great when old men plant trees un­der whose shade they never ex­pect to sit.” But did you know plant­ing trees around your home is also an in­vest­ment in your real es­tate value and the value of your neigh­bor­hood? Or, that it’s one best made not in the sea­son of new life, spring, but in the fall as win­ter ap­proaches?

Most Amer­i­cans say they would — and in fact do — pay more for a home with trees in the yard, ac­cord­ing to a Wake­field Re­search sur­vey spon­sored by the Al­liance for Com­mu­nity Trees, a pro­gram of the Ar­bor Day Foun­da­tion. On av­er­age, Amer­i­cans pay 18 per­cent more for a house with trees in the yard, and 79 per­cent say they feel trees de­fine their neigh­bor­hood’s char­ac­ter. Nearly three quar­ters say they would never move to a neigh­bor­hood that didn’t have trees.

“The pres­ence of trees in a neigh­bor­hood is as im­por­tant to home­buy­ers as prox­im­ity to good schools, ac­ces­si­bil­ity to shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ment, and com­mutabil­ity to work,” says Dana Karcher, Al­liance for Com­mu­nity Trees pro­gram man­ager. “But the value of trees goes far beyond beau­ti­fy­ing a neigh­bor­hood. Plant­ing trees helps on a lo­cal and global scale by re­duc­ing air pol­lu­tion, con­trol­ling stormwa­ter runoff and even mit­i­gat­ing cli­mate change.”

With 61 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say­ing they would wel­come more trees in their neigh­bor­hoods, plant­ing one in your home en­vi­ron­ment is good for your prop­erty value and your com­mu­nity. What’s more, fall is a perfect time for plant­ing trees and shrubs. The fall plant­ing sea­son kicks off with Neigh­borWoods month in Oc­to­ber, the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of trees and green com­mu­ni­ties that sup­ports lo­cal tree plant-


ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and their ef­forts to make neigh­bor­hoods cleaner, greener and health­ier. This ini­tia­tive is made pos­si­ble in part by like minded com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day (R), Dou­ble Tree by Hil­ton and the Aetna Foun­da­tion. Visit ar­bor­day. org/ neigh­borwoods to learn more.

If you’re con­sid­er­ing plant­ing a tree or two this fall, here are some things to keep in mind:

* While spring may be the best time to plant flow­ers and veg­eta­bles, fall is the op­ti­mum sea­son for plant­ing trees. In spring, trees don’t have enough time to grow deep roots be­fore sum­mer heat hits. Fall means warm soil, wet­ter weather and cooler air that pro­mote root growth, help­ing a newly planted tree get es­tab­lished be­fore the weather turns cold and the ground freezes.

* Mid-Au­gust through midOc­to­ber is the best time to plant a tree in north­ern and cooler lo­ca­tions. In warmer ar­eas, like the south, you may be able to plant well into Novem­ber. Talk to your lo­cal nurs­ery or an ar­borist to de­ter­mine the best plant­ing win­dow where you live. Plant­ing these types of trees in fall means they’ll be well es­tab­lished when next spring’s grow­ing sea­son ar­rives.

* Some types of trees need longer to be­come es­tab­lished, while oth­ers need less time. Look for trees that don’t re­quire a lengthy grow­ing pe­riod be­fore they can with­stand harsher tem­per­a­tures. Op­tions in­clude ash, crabap­ple, hawthorn, elm, lin­den, maple, sycamore, pines and spruces. Not sure what to plant? The Ar­bor Day Foun­da­tion of­fers an on­line tree se­lec­tion tool to help you un­der­stand what trees will grow best in your re­gion.

* Trees are pre­pared for plant­ing in three ways — bare root, con­tainer­ized and balled and burlap. The best meth­ods for plant­ing trees will be based on how the roots look. Bare root trees have com­pletely ex­posed roots, and you’ll need to soak the roots be­fore plant­ing. Bare root trees tend to grow faster than those in con­tain­ers. Plants from nurs­eries of­ten come in con­tain­ers that need to be re­moved be­fore you plant the tree. Root balls are typ­i­cally wrapped in burlap, which must also be re­moved when you plant the tree.

To learn more about the ben­e­fits of plant­ing trees and how to care for your trees, visit www.ar­bor­day.org.

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