We all know that trees provide oxygen, clean the air and combat climate change. We're grateful for their wood and food, and value their importance as home to an array of animals. What we don't always think of is that they also conserve energy, save water, help prevent soil erosion, increase property value and heal in ways both subtle and profound.
Three trees placed strategically around a home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50%. Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns.
Trees prevent storm water from carrying pollutants to the ocean by breaking rainfall and allowing the water to flow down their trunks and into the earth below. They reduce UVB exposure by about 50%. The aesthetic appeal of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighbourhood can raise the property value by as much as 15%. Studies have even shown that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow in.
Research has revealed that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with fewer complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to trees and nature, and neighbourhoods and homes that are barren have shown a greater incidence of violence than their greener counterparts.
Starke Ayres Garden Centre Rosebank Manager Richard Morris suggests planting the following popular trees in your garden:
*White stinkwood / Celtis africana (a great deciduous tree for suburban gardens)
*Coral tree / Erythrina lysistemon (produces beautiful orange flowers)
*Lemon / Citrus limon (a classic favourite for gardens or containers)
*Cape flame / Spathodea campanulata (produces large burnt orange flowers)
*Silver oak / Brachylaena discolor (good for windy or coastal areas)
*Camphor / Cinnamomum camphora (smells great when the wind blows)
*Avocado / Persea americana (grows wonderfully in moderately protected areas in the Western Cape)
*Holly oak / Quercus ilex (an evergreen that can be planted almost anywhere ' from the coast to a sunny garden and even in clay soil)
*Other fun options like pomegranate, custard apple, apple, almond and peach trees
If you don't have a garden, you can still plant a tree. Try one of these container options for a balcony or patio:
*Kumquat (miniature orange)
*Chinotto (myrtle-leaved orange)
*West Indian lime (the chef's choice)
Happy tree hugging!
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