By Jesse Eastman
Spring is here and it’s time to plant. With proper planning, it’s also the season to add serious value to your home. While some home improvements provide greater value than others, landscaping has one of the highest returns on investment.
According to research conducted by ICMA (International City/County Management Association), an established landscape can increase property values by up to 20%. Trees are the most significant factor in landscape value as they provide the largest and most long-term impact. You don’t have to get too fancy, either. Several trees and shrubs, a manageable lawn, and some low-maintenance flower beds can dramatically change the overall perceived value of your home.
Perceived value aside, a single mature tree adds plenty of value all on its own. According to The Council of Tree & Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can have a value between $1,000 and $10,000. The mature size of the tree and its overall health must be taken into consideration, but a healthy mature shade tree can be a real asset to your property.
Even if you’re not focused on the resale value of your property, there are significant savings to be had by landscaping your forever home. An established landscape increases the efficiency of your home heating and cooling. Deciduous trees that shade the west walls and roof of your house in the summer help lower cooling costs while allowing sunlight to heat the house when they drop their leaves in the winter. Hardy evergreens on the north side of the house block winter winds, reducing heat loss. Landscaped areas reflect less heat than paved surfaces, further reducing home cooling costs. According to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, a well-designed established landscape can reduce home heating and cooling costs by up to 20%.
Since many of these benefits are maximized when your landscape is mature don’t wait to get started. As the old saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now!