There is something purely enchanting in those first Spring Days when you can open your windows and breath in the fresh scent of nature waking up from its winter hibernation. As the soil thaws, spring flowers begin to peek out to greet the sun, and garden perennials shift from twig-like slumber into vivid green shoots, a new seasonal cycle of rebirth rejuvenates our psyches and beckons us to rejoice in the optimism of a new year. And for those of us living in the old City of Toronto, this includes the bursting buds of over 500,000 city trees that line the boulevards of our green City.
However, we urban residents have some alarming news to consider. The majority of large trees in Toronto that line many of our residential streets were planted around 1920, and now have about ten to fifteen years left in their life expectancy. Each winter with the heavy snowfalls we lose more of these precious specimens, to the point that very soon we run the risk of visually scarred streetscapes and exacerbating our environmental crisis. Despite the numerous ravines and green spaces amidst our urban core, Toronto’s urban forest only covers about 20 percent of our City. Ideally, Toronto should maintain a tree canopy of 30 to 40 percent in order to be healthy, diverse and sustainable. If you live in a property that can accommodate more trees, here are a few environmental and economic benefits to demonstrate why now might be the time to get planting.
Better Air Quality - One of the most remarkable benefits of a healthy tree is that it produces oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide. This means exhaust from a car gets absorbed by the tree and in turn it creates clean air for us to breath. In addition, a tree’s foliage filters out fine particles, smog and allergens like pollen, acting like the lungs of the city and providing cleaner air to breathe.
Improved Water Supply - A tree with an established root base serves to reduce topsoil erosion and helps prevent land pollutants contained in the soil from getting into our waterways. The tree’s canopy intercepts the rainfall by clinging to leaves, branches and stems of trees, and gets absorbed by its root system, helping reduce potential flooding by percolating water run-off that might otherwise run into our storm water system.
A Quieter Place to Live - The natural beauty of a tree’s various parts also serves to absorb and deflect sound waves, and reduces sound intensity. A stand of mature trees can dramatically reduce the sound of traffic from highways and arterial roads, and on residential streets can serve to soften the hard edges of urban life while providing the opportunity for birdsong.
Lower Utility Costs - The strategic placement of evergreens can act as an insulator and windbreak. By creating a natural barrier against the exterior of your home you can lower your home heating costs. Planting a deciduous tree by the side of your house can provide shade for your home‚s roof, exterior walls and windows, helping reducing air conditioning costs in the summer. The shade created by trees also reduces the watering needs for your lawn and garden which can, effectively, reduce your water bill.
A More Beautiful Place to Live - Trees serve to break up the visual monotony of our built form, creating a visual distraction from all the concrete, brick, metal and glass that line our city streets. They serve to soften the hard edges we live with every day. Trees also provide natural habitats for urban wildlife such as birds and small animals for shelter, nesting and the storage of food, providing all of us daily contact with nature.
A Higher Property Value - A well-landscaped property not only creates a more beautifully aesthetic setting but also contributes to a better environment while realizing economic savings. Not only will you enhance the natural habitats for urban wildlife, but also you will be rewarded by creating a more serene environment to unwind from the daily stresses of urban life. And nearly every dollar you spend creating a slice of tranquility will be realized in your property’s resale value, providing an increasing return on your investment the longer it matures. Don’t pave over paradise but create one, knowing that just by planting one tree, you are making a difference in the future of our City.
At urbaneer.com, we make it our business to provide guidance to enhance the environment, save you money, and increase the value of your home. With a comprehensive understanding of Toronto’s 42 village neighbourhoods, we pride ourselves on being the one of the city’s more personable real estate boutique services. Offering a pressure-free and hassle-free approach to real estate sales and marketing, log on to www.urbaneer.com to learn about us! Just pick up the phone and call us for an introductory package. Thinking of selling? Our business is as much about promoting properties for sale as placing buyers in their dream home. Consistent top producers for over 18 years, we are your friendly effective real estate team, at 416-322-8000!