Brimming with benefits, trees take center stage on Earth Day

Updated Apr 23, 2016
A Davey Tree Expert Co. arborist talks with a property owner about keeping her trees healthy. Photo: Davey Tree Expert Co.A Davey Tree Expert Co. arborist talks with a property owner about keeping her trees healthy.
Photo: Davey Tree Expert Co.

The Davey Tree Expert Co. has made it quick and easy to celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree. In fact, you can do it at the touch of a button.

Take a photograph of a tree no later than Arbor Day, April 29, share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #pics4trees, and Davey Tree will make a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation for an actual tree planting. You can find all the details of the project here.

Over the next 50 years, the tree you planted with a few clicks on your smart phone can generate $31,250 of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air-pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water, and control $31,500 worth of soil erosion, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

For landscape contractors, most of whom are running at full speed, or soon will be, at this time of year, the benefits of trees are old news. Even so, it never hurts to remind clients that few plants can match the contributions – environmental, economic and aesthetic – of trees in the landscape.

The U.S. Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research says the addition of well-placed, healthy trees typically increases property values between 10 and 20 percent. Shoppers, meanwhile, spend more time and money – and come back more often – to retail centers with plenty of trees.

And then there’s the biggest economic benefit of all: Shade lowers the cost of air-conditioning your home and office.

The social benefits of trees are numerous as well. Among the most interesting is the finding – now documented by a number of studies – that patients at health-care centers with lots of trees have lower levels of stress (including lower blood pressure) than patients at medical campuses with few or no trees.

On Earth Day, it’s appropriate to remember that trees’ environmental benefits include the sequestration of carbon dioxide and the absorption of other gaseous pollutants – a chore they perform while expelling fresh oxygen and reducing both storm-water runoff and soil erosion.

Davey Tree also points out that spring is the time your clients’ trees need to be checked for signs of winter damage or disease. Damaged branches may need to be pruned and pests may already be making themselves at home.

Spring is also the time to feed your clients’ trees, the company says. A slow-release fertilizer will go a long way toward helping trees fend off pests and disease.

In this video, R.J. Laverne of Davey Tree Expert Co. talks about the environmental, economic and social benefits trees provide:

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