Plants provide a wealth of benefits to a home and its surrounding landscape. Many of these benefits are environmental, many are aesthetic and some are financial.
When used properly on a residential or other type of property, plants can:
filter out pollutants
provide a food source for wildlife
enhance overall beauty and livability
provide a sound barrier and reduce noise pollution
provide shade and windbreaks which reduce energy costs
increase property values
enhance the look and feel of a property.
Humans can help plants provide these benefits by placing plants in locations where they can be most effective. By putting plants on slopes, along roadsides and ditches, in attractive groupings near homes and other structures, at or near property lines and in any barren areas, properties can be made more comfortable and more beautiful.
Environmental Benefits Although we seldom think about it, plants literally make life on our planet possible. Because plants convert CO2 into oxygen, they can be considered the “lungs” of the planet. A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds per year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings.1 If every American family planted just one tree, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by one billion pounds annually. Energy Savings The wise use of plants and greenery also provides bottom-line benefits. Trees, shrubs and other plants lower local air temperatures by transpiring water and shading surfaces. Because plants can lower air temperatures, shade buildings in the summer, and block winter winds, they can reduce building energy use and cooling costs. Beauty and Privacy “Green” landscaping creates beauty, serenity and an overall sense of well being. In spring, plants come alive with colorful flowers and new green growth. In the summer, the dense green foliage of trees and other plants provide respite from the hot sun and create comfortable oases for gathering and relaxing. In the fall, a new color palette of oranges, yellows and reds transforms the landscape. Trees, shrubs and other plants are perfect for creating a living fence that provides privacy from outside intrusions and distractions. Trees and shrubs can be pruned to develop thick privacy barriers, or they can be manicured to create a formal landscape feature.