8 Ways Trees Protect Your Home

Trees are life-giving. They evolved 370 million years ago, "inhaling" carbon dioxide and "exhaling" oxygen to create the air we breathe. Except for a few reptiles, only trees live longer than humans. They're intergenerational gifts to pass down.

Windbreaks slow wind. Even a few trees can act as windbreaks, but the species and planting location must be carefully considered. Deciduous and evergreen trees provide the best protection.

1. Trees protect your home by slowing wind speed.

Plant trees on the leeward side of your home to protect it from high winds. Location affects this. In northeast Pennsylvania, most storms blow from the South or West, so I've planted large deciduous trees and evergreens to manage the winds and protect my house from raging storms.

How to plant trees to block wind

Look for trees that mature a few feet over the peak of your house when choosing windbreaks. The mature height of each tree is listed on the plant tag at your local garden centre. Plan your windbreak far enough from buildings to let trees grow freely. I often see a white pine (popular as Christmas trees) planted 10 feet from someone's front door.

Which trees should be planted as windbreaks?

One large tree can lift 100 gallons of water from the ground per day.NC State Ag and Life SciencesMuch of the rain that falls on a tree evaporates in the leaf canopy and bark, dripping to the soil below.

2. Trees reduce soil erosion and storm water runoff.

Properly placed trees can reduce air conditioning by 30% and heating by 20-50%USFSWhat's better than cooling off under an old Maple tree on a hot summer day? This cooling effect extends to the soil around the tree, keeping insects, worms, and bio-organisms near the surface.

3. Trees cool air and soil.

Trees are CO2 sponges. Photosynthesis requires CO2 and produces oxygen. This improves home and community air quality, especially in cities. David Nowak, project leader at the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Research Station in Syracuse, N.Y., says a big tree removes 60 to 70 times more pollution than a small tree. One mature tree can provide enough oxygen for a family of four, depending on its type.

4. Trees clean and oxygenate the air.

Trees can provide privacy and look friendlier than a fence.The EPA says trees can reduce noise by 50% and mask it with natural sounds.Trees provide resting spots for migrating birds, nesting sites, and weather protection for other wildlife.A well-landscaped property is more attractive to buyers than a clear-cut one.

4. Trees clean the air and provide oxygen.

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