Fall leaves on a blue sky

Reasons to Plant Trees

Like the branches of an American elm, the reasons to plant a tree are many and far-reaching. Your motivation planting a tree may be economic, social and/or environmental. No matter your reason for adding trees, know that by planting trees at home, work or in your neighborhood, you are investing in your community and forging a green legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Five Reasons to Plant

1. Property Values and Commerce

  • Treed neighborhoods and business districts attract prospective buyers and consumers.
  • In urban areas across the country, homes with trees sell for an average of 10-20 percent more. Consumers are willing to spend 12 percent more in stores with trees in front of them than without.

2. Energy Savings

  • Homes shaded by trees have 10-30 percent savings in air conditioning costs compared to homes without shade.
  • The shade trees of D.C. save us more than $2.6 million in air conditioning costs per year.

3. Air Quality

  • Trees absorb pollutants and store carbon, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • The trees of Washington filter 540 tons of harmful, health-threatening pollutants from the air each year.

4. Drainage and Stormwater Mitigation

  • Trees help rain soak into the ground rather than run off the surface.
  • The decrease in tree cover in D.C. between 1973 and 1997 resulted in an increase of storm water runoff of as much as 34 percent. Overflows lead to sewer backups and flooding including in basements.

5. Health and Quality of Life

  • Trees add beauty to neighborhoods, create recreational opportunities and provide relief to physical and visual stress.
  • Research shows that kids are better able to concentrate, complete tasks, and follow directions after playing in natural settings.
  • Learn more about how trees can benefit D.C. and your community by reading our Green Issue Briefs.

Know any other reasons to plant trees? Send us an email or a tweet!

For more information on advocating for trees, be sure to read our Green Issues Briefs which cover these issues in even greater detail.