Get tree-mendous benefits

Space: Plant trees far enough away from the home so that when they mature, their root systems do not dam­age the foundation and branches do not damage the roof.
Space: Plant trees far enough away from the home so that when they mature, their root systems do not dam­age the foundation and branches do not damage the roof.

You may have seen the meme that says ‘Imagine if trees gave off wifi signals. We would plant so many we'd probably save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.’

It shouldn’t take Planet Ark’s National Tree Day to encourage us to plant more trees – or better still, save the ones we already have – but take at least take a moment on Sunday July 29 to think about where you could fit a tree at your place.

According to the website Treepeople.org, an acre of mature trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people and can absorb the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car almost 42,000 kilometres.

While we’re on health benefits, trees in backyard helps kids play in the shade protecting their skin, plus studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. 

Solar savvy: Incorporating shade from landscaping elements can help reduce surrounding air temperatures by several degrees.

Solar savvy: Incorporating shade from landscaping elements can help reduce surrounding air temperatures by several degrees.

As well as helping us live, trees can also add value to your home.

Domain.com.au cited Perth-based research which found that a broad-leafed tree located on a street verge in front of a home increases the median property price by about $16,889, and that a study put together by Brisbane City Council found ‘leafy’ streets, with 50 per cent or more tree cover, added up to $29,000 (5.4 per cent) above the median house sale price.

Trees can also help reduce your living costs. Horticulture consultant to Yates, Angie Thomas said trees can help moderate the temperature around our homes.

“For example, planting a deciduous trees on the north or western side of a house will provide cooling shade during summer while letting the light and warmth in during winter.” 

She said trees are also important to a garden. “Trees can also provide protection for more sensitive, smaller plants by helping to create a protected microclimate underneath them - ideal for harsh sun sensitive plants like ferns and tropical plants.

“Trees help provide a focal point and add ‘structure’ to a garden which is useful for screening out unwanted views or less than attractive fences. Trees can also provide valuable habitats for birds and much needed shade during our hot summers.”

Angie said that when planting a new tree, it’s important to keep it well watered for several months, especially in its first summer, improve the soil by mixing in a rich source of organic matter, and control any grass or weeds that could compete with the tree for water and nutrients. 

“Also take note of the drainage in your planned spot. Most trees will not flourish if planted in poorly drained soil.”