Plant a tree – and boost your home’s value

Trees are not just good for the environment. They are also good for your home value.

The goal of any property investment is to increase the value. You want it to be worth more than when you bought it. There are low-cost ways to add value and there are more expensive and in-depth renovations that can be done. 

Determining your home’s resale value is the first step in the sales process, but it can be a complex task with so many contributing factors. There are simple things any property owner can do which can boost the appeal of your property. While these simple tips may not add tens of thousands of Rands to your property’s value, without doing them, you may not be able to realize the full potential value of your property. 

It does not really matter when you want to sell your house, curb appeal is always important. A big part of curb appeal is the garden, garden design and how the yard and garden are cared for. A landscape does not establish overnight, so it is important to plan for the future when starting a garden or landscape design. 

Trees will not only make your home more desirable, but a fully grown and properly placed tree can reduce your cooling costs by as much as 40 percent. Also, shrubs, colourful perennials and ornamental grasses will add curb appeal to any home. 

To boost your curb appeal, trees should be healthy, maintained, and planted in the right place. But if your tree poses a risk and could harm your home, removing it could boost your property value. 

Why should you plant a tree?

Trees Save Energy and Benefit the Environment 

Trees are a critical element in our collective effort for a more sustainable environment. Functioning ecosystems with healthy trees and vegetation help with stormwater management, pollutant filtration and soil and water conservation. In the summer, the shade provided by trees cuts energy use. In the winter, deciduous trees that have lost its leaves let sun filter through and warm buildings and homes. In short, trees have a direct impact on energy use and resource conservation. 

Trees Increase Well-Being 

It’s no secret: trees and well-kept landscapes make the places we live, work, play, and do business in more attractive. Trees provide tranquil spaces and shade and offer protection from wind, noise, and rain. Properly positioned and well-pruned trees make buildings more “human” in scale and help create a sense of life. 

Trees Increase Property Value 

Numerous studies prove that properties with mature trees and beautiful landscaping attract buyers, shoppers, tenants and demand premium prices. By boosting kerbside appeal, increasing privacy and creating an established feeling, you can be sure to attract prospective buyers when you consider selling. When choosing trees for your garden, opt for named varieties that grow to a known height and width to match a tree to the available space. Some of the trees worth considering are: 

1. Frangipani  

Frangipanis are small succulent deciduous trees with fragrant white, pink or apricot flowers in summer and autumn. They grow best in temperate to tropical climates and will reach 3-5 metres in height. 

2. Crepe Myrtle 

Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), is deciduous in winter with long-lasting colourful flowers that bloom from late spring to late summer. They will grow up to 5-7 metres in height. 

3. Maples 

Japanese maples are particularly likely to add value to your home. Try Acer palmatum or the larger japonica. These compact deciduous trees have vibrant autumn leaves but are best in cool to temperate gardens and will grow up to 2-5 metres. 

4. Evergreen Ash 

Evergreen ash (Fraxinus griffithii) is a compact evergreen with light ferny leaves and tassles of flowers. It will grow from 3-5 metres in height. An ash tree provides a shady spot to sit on a hot summer’s day. 

5. Magnolias 

Evergreen or deciduous magnolias are elegant trees. Evergreen magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) flower throughout the year and grow in most areas; deciduous magnolias (such as M. x soulangiana) flower in late winter and are best in cool to temperate zones. Size varies depending on the species of magnolia. 

6. Citrus Trees 

Citrus trees such as lemon, lime, orange or mandarin will be a hit with most buyers. Everyone likes a productive tree and while there are many that do well in gardens (apples, pears and even nut trees such as macadamias) citrus are universally appreciated. Productive fruit trees are usually winners with buyers. 

It’s important to note that not all trees add value. Some of the tree varieties which are likely to have an adverse impact on your property include:

Evergreen conifers: Conifers, especially the tall and fast growing Leylandii cypress. 

Gum trees: Gum trees of all kinds are a worry particularly to homes in fire-prone locations. 

Liquidambars: Liquidambars will not add value as they are viewed as costly either in terms of removal or on-going maintenance. Next time you think about improving property value, consider planting a tree.