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ENERGY TIPS

10 Reasons to Plant a Tree

Beyond their beauty, trees help make homes and communities healthier, more energy efficient places to live. Cleaner air, quieter homes and lower energy bills are just some of the perks trees can provide. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits trees bring and how you can help your new botanical investment thrive, from the best time to the best place to plant it, how to avoid power lines and more.

1. Breathe easier with improved air quality

Trees are the lungs of our planet, so it’s a no-brainer they improve air quality in communities. They absorb pollutants and contaminants and give off needed oxygen. Even in a small space, trees help clear the air. Simply put, the more trees there are, the better the air quality and the better we breathe.

2. Prevent soil erosion and stormwater runoff

From the top of their canopies through their roots, trees protect the ground from heavy weather and absorb rainwater. You may not be able to tell how much stormwater damage trees prevent until they aren’t there. Without the protection they provide, erosion can cause significant damage and even increased stormwater costs.

trees lower energy bill

3. Cool Off By Planting Trees Near Your Home

When planted in the right place, trees can help homes stay cool in the shade by improving energy efficiency and lowering energy bills. Planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home where full canopies provide shade in the summer will give your HVAC a needed break.

4. Warm Up Your Home In Colder Months

Deciduous trees that lose their leaves in fall allow the sun to shine through and warm up your home in colder months. Similarly, evergreen trees planted on the north sides of homes shield from winds year-round.

5. Feel Good

Whether it’s the enormity of trees, the rustling sounds of leaves or the calls of wildlife, you probably know a lot of people who say time in the woods feels healing to them. You don’t have to take a hike to get the same benefit of trees. Planting them in your yard can give you a bit of tranquility from the forest at home.

6. Reduce Noise By Planting Trees

Especially near busy roads or railroads, trees can offer peace by serving as a needed buffer to reduce noise. Evergreen trees offer the best sound barrier and 365-day viewing pleasure since they don’t lose their leaves.

7. Look Good By Adding Curb Appeal

It’s no secret that well-maintained yards add curb appeal, and trees are important to a well-rounded landscaping plan. So many varieties of trees mean you can find the tree for your aesthetic, maintenance and privacy preferences. Trees may also increase your home value.

8. Planting Trees Supports Wildlife

Animals that call air, land and water home need trees to live, eat and thrive. Trees can attract the kind of native animals you enjoy watching and serve as important stops on migration routes. So, if you want to support wildlife, start in your own yard by planting trees.

benefits of planting trees

9. Preserve Tradition (Or Start One) By Planting Trees

Pass down family pastimes or cultivate new interests by making trees part of your daily life. Did you have a rope swing as a child? Hang a new one for your children on a sturdy branch. Did your grandmother enjoy feeding birds? Get a bird feeder. Passionate about the environment? Select a native tree species that supports at-risk wildlife.

10. Pay tribute with a living memorial

Trees can be a meaningful memorial to loved ones lost. Remembering loved ones through the life trees give can offer warm reminders of those we miss.

Plant Smart

While trees aren’t completely maintenance-free, some best practices help get you off to a good start, including where to plant and when to plant:

  • ALWAYS plant away from powerlines. This requires some planning ahead. Learn what the mature height of your tree will be and plant it that far away from power equipment.
    • For example, if your tree can grow to 20 feet tall, plant it at least 20 feet away from utility poles and wires.
  • Planting trees in fall allows them to escape the heat and become established before winter begins.
    • If you choose a blooming variety, fall planting also means you may have earlier blooms in the spring.

Get Started Planting Trees Today

Not exactly sure how to begin? Fortunately, there’s plenty of help close to home in the Chattanooga area:

Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center staff and volunteers are leading experts in native plants and how your landscaping plans can benefit our entire community. They can provide advice to area residents about the kinds of trees that will flourish in your neighborhood and match up with your interests, from attracting wildlife to nurturing blooming varieties and more.

Focused on safety, sustainability and energy efficiency, EPB Energy ProsSM arborists provide guidance to customers about where and how to plant trees to benefit them and avoid future power outages. In the event trees must be trimmed for safety reasons, EPB follows methods endorsed by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the International Society of Arboriculture.

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