Trees can increase property value, especially in W.Va.

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Capitol Street in Charleston, WV, Kanawha County, Metro Valley Region
Trees on Capitol Street, Charleston, West Virginia

Whether you love or hate trees, practical and profitable reasons to plant and maintain them exist. To some folk, they’re limb-dropping, leaf-littering sources of sap.  Research demonstrates that their benefits usually outweigh their disadvantages.

In West Virginia, where trees thrive naturally, parking lots and sterile fields can appear so unnatural as to lead to a decline in property value. Tourists, in particular, expect to find trees in the Mountain State and are disappointed to encounter bleak lots in their stead.

Culled from the National Arbor Day Foundation, here are a few economic reasons to plant and maintain trees. Keep in mind that these pragmatic incentives do not include the overarching environmental reasons to practice progressive woodland management.

  • “Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent.” — Management Information Services/ICMA
  • “A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000.” — Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers
  • “Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20–50 percent in energy used for heating.” — USDA Forest Service
  • “In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” — Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University
  • “In one study, 83% of Realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%.” — Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests
  • “Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent.” — The Arbor Day Foundation

For more information, visit the National Arbor Day Foundation’s article, “The Value of Trees to a Community.”

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Journalist, historian, and longtime proponent of inventive economic development in West Virginia, David Sibray is the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of West Virginia Explorer. For more information, he may be reached at 304-575-7390.