Everybody loves a majestic shade tree. It invites you to stay cool and adds dimension to your landscape. But it doesn’t stop there. Healthy, well-kept trees add to the value of your property, too.
Mature trees add that “curb appeal” factor. It’s hard to quantify this value, but trees unmistakably attract buyers and help encourage a higher price. Research shows that large trees can increase property values from 3% to 15%, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.
Mature trees also help with home cooling and heating costs – shading your home from the hot summer sun and protecting your home from heat-robbing wind in the winter.
Trees have “hedonic” value – a willing-to-pay analysis that “attempts to capture the proportion of property prices that are derived from the non-use value of trees and other natural elements,” University of Washington research social scientist Kathleen Wolf writes in Arborist News.
The same valuation holds true for property near urban open space, with increases ranging from 20% for an inner-city home located within a quarter mile of a park to 32% for residential development adjacent to greenbelts, reports Wolf.
The key to ensuring trees increase your property value is ensuring they are healthy, well-trimmed, not blocking view windows or planted too close to the house. If a tree violates any of these factors, you may consider removing it to increase your home’s value.
Experts say the best trees to plant are native species that are low maintenance and don’t get too tall. To choose the right tree for your Boulder County home, consider the climate, size of your area and the distance the tree will be from your home.
Trees are long-term investments, so it’s especially important to choose one that will thrive in the extreme, unpredictable weather along Colorado’s Front Range. Choosing a tree recommended for this area is critical, such as the following varieties from local horticulturists, Colorado State University and the US Forest Service.
Large shade trees grow to be more than 50 feet tall. Some species are drought tolerant and will do well in high windy locations without irrigation, including American linden, honey locust, northern catalpa, Norway and sugar maples, and burr and chinkapin oaks.
Medium shade trees grow to 30 to 45 feet tall, work well in urban landscapes and offer species that flower in the spring, such as the thinleaf alder — a Colorado native species. Other popular medium shade trees include Amur corktree, Japanese pagoda tree, Littleaf linden, Ohio buckeye and Turkish filbert.
Small ornamental trees flower or add bright color during the fall, adding zest to your landscape. These popular trees are under 25 feet tall at maturity. Canyon maple and scrub oak are native to Colorado. Fruit trees are in this group including callery pear, Canada red cherry, Ussurian pear, crabapple, hawthorn, Japanese lilac tree lilac, or redbud.
It wouldn’t be Colorado if we didn’t include large evergreen trees. These trees look great year-round, but they can easily overwhelm even a medium sized yard, so make this decision judiciously. If you have the room, the state tree is the Colorado blue spruce. Other choices are Ponderosa pine or Southwestern white pine.
Small evergreens grow to be 15 to 25 feet tall and work well in spaces where you want year-round foliage. These trees include several native species: Piñon pine, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, and Rocky Mountain juniper.
The best time of year to plant a tree is early fall. With September a little more than a month away, now is the time to decide which tree will add value to your home so you are ready to get your new tree started.
Read the full article by Kathleen Wolf atnaturewithin.info/Policy/Hedonics.pdf.
For more information, visit realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/how-trees-can-affect-the-value-of-your-home and creeksideboulder.com/colorado-trees.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall
of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in residential and commercial real estate. For questions, e-mail [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.