Most property owners are aware of the many benefits that trees provide, from adding shade to cleaning the air, preventing stormwater runoff, and more.
In the Cincinnati area, trees can make a huge difference in our quality of life, physical and mental health, and even property values.
Keep reading to learn the benefits of trees on your Cincinnati property and the reasons why you may want to add more trees or care for the trees you have.
Trees Reduce Temperatures in Cincinnati
Temperatures in the Cincinnati area are rarely extreme, so why is it important that trees reduce the temperature?
Well, the difference is great: urban areas in Ohio with little or no tree canopy can be up to 17 degrees hotter than nearby rural areas!
That difference in temperature can be a matter of life and death for some individuals, especially those that don’t have access to working air conditioning.
Trees Increase Property Values in Cincinnati
In 2006, researchers studied the impact of tree cover on 600 properties for sale in the Cincinnati area. They chose six Cincinnati neighborhoods for the study, 100 homes in each area:
- Bond Hill
- Hyde Park
- Kennedy Heights
- North Avondale
The researchers discovered that having trees on a property, even during the winter months (when deciduous trees don’t have leaves), increased the sale price across all areas, which is consistent with other studies.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, people value trees and the benefits that they provide. The study concluded that the “[r]esults of this research indicate that tree cover has an overall positive monetary effect on the sale price of homes…it was estimated that the average value of tree canopy is $20,226 or 10.7% of the total sale price of the homes observed.”
The homes used in the study covered areas that had different median incomes, but having more trees on a property consistently meant a higher sale price, no matter the location. Plus, they found that trees on the property were valued by buyers during both the winter and summer months.
As home prices have increased significantly in the Cincinnati area since 2006, you can be sure that trees are even more valuable to your property now!
Trees Can Make You Feel Better
Did you know that studies have proven that trees have a positive effect on physical, emotional, and mental health?
Studies have shown:
- Children living among streets with more trees have a lower prevalence of asthma
- “Forest bathing,” or spending time in nature, decreased symptoms of depression and stress levels
- There is a lower prevalence of lung cancer in residential areas with more green space
- Those who spent time in forest settings had lower measures of fatigue, depression, anxiety, confusion, and anger
- There were reduced asthma-related hospitalizations during periods with high pollutants in areas with greater tree density
- People tend to be more active in areas with more trees, which leads to increased physical health
Some of the studies refer to forested areas, but others said that similar results occurred from tree-lined streets. That means that the trees on your property can have a big impact on how you feel.
Tree Cover Can Impact Crime Rates in Cincinnati
Another study that was more recently done about trees in Cincinnati showed the connection between trees and crime rates.
Because so many ash trees have been killed by the emerald ash borer (EAB) recently, Cincinnati has lost a lot of trees. In previous studies, a link was shown between tree cover and crime: the more trees, the fewer instances of crime.
In the 2017 Cincinnati study, they found that to remain true:
“EAB infestation was significantly and positively associated with relative increases in crime in all but four crime categories. Our results suggest that invasive tree pests may be associated with social costs worth considering when managing invasive species. By extension, healthy trees may provide significant social benefits.”
That’s a good reason to care for the trees you have and plant more trees if possible!
Trees Filter Water in Cincinnati
Greater Cincinnati Water Works uses water from a treatment plant on the Ohio River or from an aquifer.
But did you know that water needs less treatment if it is first filtered through trees?
According to the Nature Conservancy, “Trees store and filter more than half of the water supply in the United States.”
Tree roots remove pollutants and slow down the water being absorbed into the soil (which prevents erosion and flooding).
Trees and their intricate root systems remove toxins, sediments, and pollutants before the water enters our waterways. By the time the water reaches the Ohio River, it is easier and less expensive to treat.
Trees House, Shelter, and Feed Wildlife in Cincinnati
Ohio has hundreds of “listed species,” meaning wildlife that are endangered, threatened, species of concern, special interest, extirpated, or extinct. From dragonflies to sparrows to butterflies to fish, many of our local wildlife are losing shelter, food sources, or nesting sites.
Did you know that one mature tree can provide food and shelter for many birds, animals, and insects? (The insects are food sources for baby birds and other wildlife on the food chain, so they are just as important!).
Various types of wildlife are fun to watch as they visit our birdfeeders or jump through our trees, but they are also vitally important for the Cincinnati area’s ecosystem.
Ohio Values Trees in Our Communities
Municipalities, including the city of Cincinnati, are well aware of the benefits of trees and how areas with more tree cover can save money on utilities, encourage economic growth, increase the quality of life, and even increase business profits.
While planting and maintaining trees on your property, whether residential or commercial, is your responsibility, there are many reasons to increase the tree canopy on your property to help the area overall.
Tree City USA
Cincinnati is one of many Ohio cities that have earned the label of Tree City USA from the Arbor Day Foundation.
In fact, Cincinnati has had this designation for over 40 years!
Cincinnati Parks’ ReLeaf Program
The Cincinnati Parks Foundation is committed to helping grow the city’s tree canopy coverage above 40%. They have given out over 20,000 trees to Cincinnati property owners during the past 35 years.
Green Cincinnati Plan
The Green Cincinnati Plan points to several issues that will impact the Cincinnati area in the near future, including rising temperatures, more frequent and severe storms, reduced air quality, more flooding, and an uptick in heat-related and mosquito-and-tick-borne illnesses.
There are many proposed solutions to prevent these and other issues, but one of the main ways to help is by planting trees and maintaining our current tree canopy.
Cincinnati has an average of 40% urban tree canopy, which was a previous goal. However, now the goal is to maintain that tree canopy but also ensure that there are more trees in areas that have the highest heat island effect.
Another goal is to increase the air quality in the Cincinnati area: in 2022, the EPA registered 181 days as having “moderate,” “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” or “unhealthy” air quality index ratings in Cincinnati. Trees are one of the best air filters available and have even been shown to reduce asthma symptoms in those that suffer.
Other tree-related goals include increasing and improving green spaces, planting more native species, utilizing biochar to add nutrients for trees and gardens, and more.
Trees Provide Real Value to Cincinnati-Area Property Owners
Wondering about the worth of trees on your own property? Use the National Tree Benefit Calculator on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website to find out! You can even use it to help determine which additional trees to plant.
For instance, an American elm that has a 10-inch diameter located in Loveland, Ohio, provides benefits to the property owner of $86 every year!
The value of trees increases every year as long as the trees are healthy and well-maintained.
One of the best ways to care for your trees is to ensure they are pruned correctly. Contact Lefke Tree Experts to schedule your professional tree pruning.
We hope this article has made you appreciate all that trees do for us. If you have the room, consider planting additional trees on your property this year.
About Lefke Tree Experts
Our professional tree services include tree removal, tree pruning and trimming, clearing, and stump grinding for the greater Cincinnati metro area. We are a fully insured company with the training, equipment, and expertise needed to get the job done right. If there’s a tree in your yard that needs to be trimmed or removed, call us today!
You can always reach us at 513-325-1783.