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What’s your tree worth?

Posted on April 18th, 2010 by Andy

It goes without saying that trees provide a lot of benefits to the homeowner, but now there’s a way to actually calculate the actual savings in terms of real dollars.

A two-inch thick vine maple (a ubiquitous feature in the Seattle area) provides about $50 in overall benefits, with the bulk of it coming in gains in property value, according to this cool National Tree Benefit Calculator developed by Casey Trees. OK, it’s not meant to be a scientific assessment of the tree’s value, but it’s a simple way to get you to start thinking about the value of a tree planted in the parking strip, in your front yard, or along the street.

What I like about this calculator is it takes into account all the benefits of a tree. There’s the gain in property value from having trees in your front yard — a spectacular specimen tree like a Japanese maple, for example, can help you create curb appeal . Then there’s the tree’s role in curbing stormwater runoff; this calculator notes that a two-inch vine maple intercepts 52 gallons of runoff a year. How? It holds rain on leaves, branches and bark and reducing soil erosion by slowing rainfall before it hits the soil; all that means a little bit less oils, chemicals and other bad stuff washing into the local waterways.

The calculator also takes into account the benefits of air quality (trees absorb pollutants) and energy conservation (planted in the right spot around the house, it can help warm or cool your house during certain times of the year).

Filed under:Seattle Landscape Design, Seattle Landscape Maintenance | |

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