Trees do more than shade
“Living on a street lined with tall, leafy trees is as much a part of the American dream as a green front lawn and a brand-new car in the driveway,” said GOOD Editor Zak Stone. “While the latter two are fairly expensive and unsustainable (think pesticides and carbon emissions), it turns out that trees reward property owners with more than just shade.”
A new study by the US Forest Service came to the conclusion that by planting trees around the perimeter of a rental property increases the rental amount a landlord could charge by an average of $21 per month, and planting on the actual property can increase the value by another $5 per month.
The environmentalist blogs are buzzing with the news, but it should be noted that the Forest Service performed the study which could be biased, but their methodology was to combine the price of rental listings on Craigslist for Portland, Oregon with tree data they found from Google Earth.
Helpful, but not scientific
It’s not exactly a scientific study- it only covers Portland, it could have used a more legitimate listings source (Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, any broker’s site?), but it does show that at least in one area there was a small correlation between price and trees. Other studies over the years have shown the value of trees along with other amenities like walkability, fence types and building materials.
Additionally, Stone said, “The findings dovetail nicely with the Donovan’s earlier work, which showed that a property’s sale price grows by as much $13,000, if there are trees on the property next door—apparently people like the shade trees provide but are less keen on the yard work. So the surest way to benefit from trees added value is to ask your neighbor to plant some trees (nicely, of course).”