The benefits of trees reach far beyond the vision of a stately silhouette in the landscape. Their actual value may be measured in dollars – a mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. The environmental value of a single tree, in monetary terms has been documented by the USDA Forest Service as well:
“Over a 50-year lifetime a tree generates $31,250 of oxygen provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.” – USDA Forest Service Pamphlet #R1-92-100
But it is becoming clear that the environmental significance of these long-lived sentries is immeasurable. Planting a tree in your neighborhood is one of the best things you can do not only for the community, but for our planet as well. Planting just one tree can make a difference.
“The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” – U.S. Department of Agriculture
“One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” – U.S. Department of Agriculture
Find out more about the benefits of trees at Arbor Day Foundation.
Choosing and Placing a Tree
The placement of your tree begins at the landscape site, not at the nursery. Choosing the Right Tree for the right place is about the planting location and space for future growth, as well as your preferences and expectations.
Is there room for a tree to grow to its mature size? Matching available space to plant choice is good for both you and your tree, freeing you from the cycle of overpruning to maintain size and your tree from repeated stress and damage from overpruning.
- What are the site conditions in your yard? Factors such as south-facing exposure or deep shade affect the microclimate of your yard. Will the tree need to be particularly sun tolerant, cold hardy, or water thrifty?
- Are there functions and personal preferences that need to be considered, such as shading the home to increase energy efficiency, creating a space for outdoor living, or attracting native wildlife to your yard?
How to Plant a Tree
Planting a tree is probably much easier than you think. And desert trees are ideal choices because they are adapted to the rigors of desert living, harsh alkaline soils, and long periods without rain, reducing the need for soil amendments and supplemental watering once established.
Get your tree off to a healthy start.
Dig a good hole.
HELP AT YOUR FINGERGTIPS
- Choose the Right Plant for the Right Place
- Reasons to Plant a Tree
- Basic Pruning Cuts
- Healthy Trees
- Arizona Community Tree Council