More and more often we come across information that the pollution in cities is severely damaging our health. Species are being extinct. Mankind has drifted away from nature in more ways that we can count. Sadly, we forget how nature works in its wonderful ways. We don’t really care about the trees, we need more parking space. More roads. More shopping centres. More, more, more...
In an imaginary situation, which one is more natural to you: a house surrounded by trees, with a lovely garden in the backyard, or the one that is in the middle of a concrete jungle? Yeah, thought so. So why is it that people prefer cutting down trees to just maintaining them?
Did you know that trees offer a number of additional benefits that can actually help protect your home? It’s true. So before you call in the arborist to chop down your precious trees, have a read of the following and reflect on the many ways trees can be of benefit to your home.
Trees protect your home from strong winds
At a time when weather patterns are unpredictable, and the incidence of hurricanes and strong storms seems to grow in number with each passing year (perhaps thanks in due part to Climate Change), protecting your home against strong winds is somewhat necessary. Trees can serve as effective windbreaks that slow down wind speed, and this can help protect your investment (as well as your family) from the kind of strong winds that can wreak serious damage on your property. However, the types of trees, as well as their placement around your home is important if you want to leverage on the windbreak capacity of trees. In general, a mixture of deciduous trees and evergreens – that mature a few feet higher than the height of your home – provide the best protection. If only evergreens are used (the type of tree that retains its foliage all year round), then they can allow so little wind through that they can become uprooted in fierce storms. But when used in combination with deciduous trees (the trees that do shed their foliage come Autumn time) they can provide that last line of defense against an encroaching wind storm. Trees-as-windbreakers should also be planted on the side of your home that receives the most wind. And at a far enough distance from your home and other trees so as to not inhibit growth. Of course, provided your trees are properly maintained and ready to endure strong winds.
Trees provide protection against soil erosion
Large trees are extremely effective natural water catchments that can help keep your soil fertile. Without enough trees around your property to soak up water when it rains, rainwater has nowhere to run bar across your garden surface – taking precious topsoil and other beneficial organic compounds with it to the drain. Trees can collect this water and feed it into the surrounding soil: keeping it moist and protecting it against wind erosion.
Trees can reduce the chances of burglary, graffiti and vandalism
Believe it or not, recent studies have shown that buildings and properties surrounded by trees experience lower than average instances of crime. In fact, they are 52 per cent less likely to be involved in some form of criminal behaviour, such as burglary, graffiti and vandalism. There are a number of explanations as to why these homes are less attractive to criminal entities. Some have argued that trees provide a natural calming effect on would-be robbers and vandals; whilst others have argued that trees are an indication that the home is well looked after, perhaps signaling that the home sports modern and effective security provisions to keep potential intruders outside. Whatever the reason, the presence of trees around your home offer tangible security benefits, in addition to the other protective advantages mentioned above.
Trees provide shade and can protect your home from high energy costs
Lastly, trees can also provide a welcomed shady area around your home to retreat to during those sultry summer days. They can also have an overall cooling effect on your home as they can block out much sun from bleeding through your windows and warming your home. In fact, studies have found that well placed trees around the home can reduce energy costs by as much as 30 per cent.
Finally, this story wouldn't be complete without mentioning the fact trees provide a home for various species. And you wouldn't want to destroy their homes just because you need a parking spot now, would you?
True: sometimes the trees around your home may look unsightly. But that doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water and chop them all down. All that may be needed is a simple pruning to get them looking and feeling their best again. And at least this way you’ll be able to keep all of the added benefits trees provide.