Healthy trees and manicured landscapes boost property value and curb appeal.

Healthy trees and manicured landscapes boost property value and curb appeal.

Fall is here, and whether you're ready or not, it's time to begin preparing ourselves, our homes and some of our most prized possessions for the long, cold winter months ahead.

For example, most people have a proactive plan to manage their vehicle maintenance. They fill up their cars with fuel when they need it. They change their oil on a regular basis. They have alerts that warn them of tires with low air or engines that need checking. All of this helps ensure their car investment lasts as long as possible.

But, did you know, the average landscape investment is much higher than the cost of most cars? Not to mention, a car is not a living organism like the trees and plants in your landscape. Yet, many people don't take the same care to proactively protect their investment.

To ensure maximum value on your green assets, take a proactive, holistic, planned approach around the care of all of your landscape plants. This type of preventive approach, like with your car, can help you avoid costly damage or repair and safeguard the long, healthy life of your landscape investment.

Well-maintained yards can fetch a higher price and quicker sale. Trees don't ask for much-soil, water, sunlight. Yet they provide a wealth of benefits: They improve the air you breathe, cut your energy bills with their shade, provide homes for wildlife, and add beauty and value to your house to boot.

In fact, landscaping can add approximately 10 to 20 percent more value to a property-especially landscaping that includes mature trees. Commercial areas with trees also attract more customers (and they stay longer and spend more money).

Green investment
Photo: Fotolia.com - iunewind

A well-chosen tree adds curb appeal and makes the home appear established within its environment. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, 83 percent of realtors believe mature trees have a strong or moderate impact on the salability of homes listed for less than $150,000. On homes more than $250,000, this perception increases to 98 percent.

In addition to the positive effects well-maintained trees and landscapes have on homes, they also have wonderful influences on the nearby neighborhood. Communities with more trees report lower crime rates and lower levels of anxiety. In one study from Texas A&M University, looking at trees reduced stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. Communities with lower levels of anxiety and lower crime rates also tend to have higher property values.

Are you taking care of your green? Trees and plants provide more than beauty on your property-they deliver a substantial return on investment in exchange for relatively low-cost maintenance. Never underestimate the value of trees and plants in your yard: Provide proper tree care and landscape maintenance this season and beyond, and you'll reap the benefits for several seasons to come.

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