Trees Are Low-Maintenance Additions To Your Yard

If you plan on working hard this spring to make your yard the best it has ever been, why not plant a tree and take some of the work off yourself in the years to come?

Trees always add beauty to a home. Trees combined with other landscape options, can add from 3 to 15 percent to the value of your home, says Dr. Ken Tilt, horticulturist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The National Arbor Day Foundation also suggests trees have important roles as part of your landscape design.

For example, when trees are planted in staggered rows and their branches interlock as they grow, trees guard your home from the force of heavy rains. In addition to slowing down floodwater and erosion, this barrier from the elements can save wear and tear on the roof of your home, says Tilt.

Trees are also helpful to those who like living close to the city but don't care for the noise that comes with it. Tilt says trees planted on mounds can reduce noise from surrounding areas. Recent research has shown trees, together with land mounds, can reduce noise by 15 decibels.

You also can increase efficiency of your air-conditioning unit by planting trees or shrubs around your home. They also help cut down on air conditioning bills by shading your home from the sun. Research shows reduction in air-conditioning bills in mobile homes, up to 65 percent.

"By adding uplighting to your trees you add safety to your yard at night. Entertaining areas will be expanded to the outside with silhouetted tree branches offering an artistic ceiling and walls to your outdoor living space. "Trees are valuable assets to your home. Protect and enjoy them," says Tilt.

SOURCE: NATIONAL ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION and DR. KEN TILT, Extension horticulturist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, (334) 844-5484.