Benefits of Trees
A lot of people underestimate the value of trees and the benefits they provide. Healthy trees provide a lot of value and amenity to a home. Some of the benefits that trees provide are:
- Wind break
- Cleans dust from the air, absorbs pollutants and gases
- Shelter for wildlife
- Creation of oxygen
- Consumption of carbon dioxide
- Stores carbon
- Cools the air by increasing humidity
- Increases property values
- Helps prevent soil erosion
- Reduces electricity costs in houses
- Reduces stress levels and aggression in humans
The Australian backyard is sadly becoming a place void of healthy trees as more people remove trees for concerns of safety, the work they create, or because of appearance. Like most things, a healthy tree requires a little bit of care to gain a great deal of amenity. Trees can require pruning, irrigation, nutrient application and safety inspections, as well as treatments for pests and diseases.
I have been reading an informative book written by Tony Hall titled, “The Life and Death of the Australian Backyard”. It examines the origins of the urban garden starting around the time of the industrial revolution in cities of England. Australia has always had generous sized backyards with lawn, gardens and trees to enhance well being and reflect the value Australians place on the outdoor lifestyle. During the 1990’s Australia’s backyards started to take a dramatic turn for the worse, with reduced block sizes and larger houses that take up the majority of the back and front yards of the property. I think this is a reflection of the change in values that society has been going through in the last 25 years. Increased expectations resulting in increased debt levels, forcing longer working hours and more time spent inside the world of technology. As a result our children and ourselves are spending more time indoors than ever before in history.
Trees provide a world of excitement for children, well at least thats what I remember as a child growing up in suburbs with large block sizes. I remember playing in trees, building forts in trees and enjoying the shade while swinging on ropes. I particularly remember the nuts from the very mature Pecan tree in the backyard in Lisarow on the Central Coast, NSW. The nicest suburbs in Australia all have major trees, large yards and nice gardens.
I met a lot of people during my visits to inspect trees for clients and find that there is a genuine fear of trees that results in their eventual demise. Its like people keep a tally of all the bad things a tree does and eventually cut it down as a result. Failure to recognise all the benefits that trees provide is a major problem. Trees are like a big friendly giant that is misunderstood and never really appreciated for the things they do. I have shown hundreds of clients that the tree they wanted me to remove is actually giving them a lot of reasons to keep it in the yard. Its like a lot of things in life, we are often afraid of things we do not understand.
Some trees need to be removed, fact. but weighing up the pros and cons of a tree should be the first point of call for anyone considering a complete removal. Once an 80 year old tree is gone, there is no going back, at least not during your lifetime.