Trees 101

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Close your eyes. Think about your dream home, what immediately come to mind: a steeply gabled roof? State of the art appliances in a pristine kitchen? Bedrooms and bathrooms aplenty?

Now, think about the yard. Along with tasteful, beautiful landscaping...Is there a tree? A large, sprawling oak that will shade you in the heat summer? It seems idyllic, doesn't it, that stately oak? You'll spend hours lying in the shade. Your kids can have a treehouse. You can string lights from the branches and host Pinterest-inspired parties! The options are plenty! 

If you're shopping for a home, you're probably searching for something that looks as though it came straight out of your dream, right? Somewhere that you've envisioned and dreamed of. For some people/families, a lot with mature trees is part of that dream. Whether it's buying a home with an already mature tree, or buying a home with the intention of planting and nurturing a tree.. you might notice that friends, family members, or even agents might be quick to point out the negative aspects of sharing your property with a mature tree. However, with the right ideas, care and maintenance, your dream doesn't have to die!

We spoke with Cindy Capobianco with Monster Tree Service of Northwest Arkansas and put together a list of pros & cons associated with having mature trees on your property.

Cons
1. Big trees can be a liability if they're not healthy.
Just because a tree is large enough to make the perfect home for your daughter's treehouse doesn't mean it's actually a good tree. When looking for houses, keep an eye out for indications that large trees may need removal. Rot issues that go unidentified can fester over time, leading to property damage and potential bodily harm. You might look for insect holes along the tree, which might mean a bug infestation. Also, shy away from trees with vertical fractures, ones that are uprooted, or ones with a prominent lean. This might indicate serious breakage in the tree's future. Any combination of those problems would call for the tree to be professionally assessed. "Dead/rotting trees are very weak and very susceptible to breaking." Cindy warns, "A wind event would easily cause limbs to break or the whole tree to fall. Also the weight of ice or snow can causing breaking- not that we get a lot in NWA, but it has happened. If the limbs or tree is near a structure (house, shed, fence, play-set) it can cause damage." 

2. Extra Inspection
That sky-high oak might call for another step in the home-buying process: hiring an experienced professional to inspect it. A professional will be able to identify the things that make your tree an asset or liability. These experts can spot illness, determine whether trimming is needed, and eye potential pitfalls. We asked Cindy what an inspection for a tree entails. "We can perform a visual inspection and check for safety hazards like dead limbs/trees near structures, visible disease and we'll provide an estimate for any maintenance work that needs to be performed to ensure the health and ascetics of their trees and shrubs."  When asked what the cost for that service would be she said, "We provide estimates for free if the customer owns the property. If it's someone is still deciding whether to purchase the home, we would charge $150. If they purchase the home and move forward with the full estimate, we would apply a $150 credit to their bill."

3. Trees = Mess
Even the healthiest, happiest trees can still make a mess. Are you prepared to dedicate a half-dozen fall afternoons to raking? "Leaves are a great natural fertilizer, once they break down and compose, and that takes time. Grass needs sunlight to live." Cindy advises, "To maintain a healthy lawn leaves need to be removed or mowed so that grass can get the sunlight it needs."  Will you be game for any post-storm cleanup? Repairing a damaged car or roof can prove a painful expense if you 

4.  Root Problems
Big trees are old trees—and old trees often have wandering roots. As they go hunting for water and nutrients, roots expand and grow, causing problems throughout the surrounding property. Roots can grow to 3x farther than the tree's foliage and and this will cause problems if roots pop through the ground and/or grow into structures, pavement, pipes, utility service lines, or a home's foundation. 

5. Unwanted Pests
"Rotted trees can attract unwanted pests like raccoons or hornets" Cindy warns. And if you're not fastidious about cleaning out the gutters, piled-up tree leaves can create pockets of standing water, inviting—you guessed it—mosquitoes, to breed undisturbed. 

6. Shade
What? Shade? A con? Isn't one of the main reasons you want a mature tree the shade it will provide? Yes, however,tree placement can dramatically affect the success of your garden and lawn. If most of your lawn is shaded, you'll need a dose of creativity to get vegetable beds thriving and flower beds sprouting.


Pros
Trees shouldn't be added to a home's landscape haphazardly. You (or at least your house) will be living with these trees for a lifetime, so take some care in choosing them If the ideal placement, size, shape, and growing habits of regional trees, as well as how the tree can work to enhance the beauty of your home is carefully considered- there are many benefits that trees, when mature can have on your home/property. 

1. Shade = Saving Money
While too much shade might be detrimental to your grass/flower/garden growth- shade can also help keep your home cool during the summer months. When placed correctly in a yard a tree can shade your home, which reduces the amount of heat that enters your home. The United States Department Of Agriculture estimates that effective landscaping can reduce a home cooling bill by up to 50%. In the winter, your trees (especially Evergreens)reduce the need for heating by 20% to 50% by helping to block the wind, saving those precious BTUs. Also, Sitting under a shade tree provides the equivalent of SPF 10 sunblock.

2. Increase Your Property Value
If you are looking for a cost-effective way to increase your property value, then you should consider planting some trees in your yard. It is estimated that people are willing to pay anywhere for three to seven percent MORE for a property with trees than a property without trees. According to the USDA Forest Service, healthy trees can increase property value by 10 percent. Healthy trees make your home more appealing to people who are interested in buying a home. Homeowners not only like the way that trees look, but they also like the fact that trees increase privacy. Furthermore, people like the fact that they can save money on their energy bill if they have trees in their yard. 

3. Improve Air Quality
Air pollution is a serious environmental concern. Trees can absorb gaseous pollution. They can also hold pollen, dust, smoke and ash on their surfaces. Additionally, trees remove carbon dioxide from the air. The average tree can remove up to 300 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Low levels of carbon dioxide are not likely to cause any harm. However, high levels of carbon dioxide can cause respiratory issues. A healthy tree can produce about 260 pounds of oxygen per year. The average person inhales 386 pounds of oxygen every year. This means that one tree can provide you with over 50 percent of the oxygen that you need.

4.Reduce Your Stress
Researchers have found that trees can help reduce stress. There was a study done by Texas A & M University that examined the effects that trees had on stress. They found that people who look at trees for five minutes per day can reduce their stress. "Nature is good for your mental health!!" Cindy reminded us, "In Scotland doctors give nature prescriptions. There is a lot of evidence of the benefits of nature on mental and physical health."

5. Relatively Simple To Care For
While trees do require maintenance, they are a lot easier to care for than most people think. In fact, caring for trees is easier than removing dead trees. Cindy shared her professional insight on this subject, "It's better and more cost effective to address a tree when it's declining vs waiting for it to die. While it's still alive you can treat it and possibly save it, You can remove dead or dying limbs- that will give the healthy part of the tree a chance to survive. Removing a tree that is dead is more difficult and costly because it cannot be climbed. Depending on the size and location of a tree, it's possible large equipment like a crane, lift or bucket truck would need to be used for a safe removal." 

6. Trees Protect The Environment
There are a number of ways that trees can protect your environment. Not only can they reduce air pollution, but they can also reduce storm runoff and noise pollution.

 

If you are needing any kind of tree service- then you should contact Monster Tree Service of Northwest Arkansas.

They are committed to two things: keeping trees healthy and keeping customers satisfied! All of their services are designed with those two goals in mind. As a result, they’re the leading tree service company in the U.S., and the only franchise offering certified arborist teams in multiple locations nationwide!

Contact them today!

479-319-2810
nwa@whymonster.com