Michigan is a gorgeous place to live, in large part because the tree canopy covers more than half the state and adds natural beauty and serenity to the area. For residents, trees do more than beautify their properties; they also can boost Home Value in Michigan significantly. Most homeowners understand that home renovations can increase property value, but many don’t realize that the trees in their yard can sometimes have a bigger impact.
Below, we’ll be discussing the many benefits of residential trees as they pertain to property value and which tree species, in particular, add the most value to your home. We’ll also offer some advice for boosting property value if you have old and unmaintained trees that are detracting from your home’s curb appeal and when looking for an arborist in Michigan for tree removal is your best option.
How Trees Boost Home Value in Michigan
Trees can provide a bump in property value in a variety of ways as an expert Realtor would tell you. We’ll discuss the specific benefits healthy trees offer below that can increase interest in your house and even lead to buyers paying more for your home.
They Improve Curb Appeal
One of the most significant benefits you’ll get from planting trees on your property is the increased curb appeal they provide. Trees add natural beauty to any home and make the property look cozier and more striking. Well-placed trees of the right species can make your house stand out among the competition and leave buyers with a good first impression of your home.
Curb appeal isn’t everything, but it can have a massive impact on a buyer’s perception of the entire property. When a potential buyer pulls up to your home, they’ll immediately start judging the house as a whole based on a single look at the exterior.
The first impression is far more likely to be positive if you have well-maintained, beautiful trees on your property. Not only will they find the house more attractive than one without trees, but they might subconsciously think that a well-maintained exterior probably means a well-maintained interior. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that this boost to buyer confidence from healthy trees could increase property value by up to 10%.
If your trees are nicely pruned, full, and healthy, your buyer might assume that they’ll be at low risk of home systems failing, like electrical, HVAC, and plumbing equipment. A well-kept exterior can promote a sense of security in buying the home, leading to a higher purchase price.
How to Maintain Maximum Curb Appeal
Unfortunately, it’s often not enough just to have trees on your Michigan property; they also have to be well maintained. Trees that are left untouched and unmaintained can actually have a negative effect on your home’s curb appeal and, subsequently, on the value.
The easiest way to use your trees to your advantage is to call in a professional for annual tree pruning. Expert pruners will do several things to improve the appearance and health of your tree.
First, they remove dead and dying branches to leave a more healthy-looking canopy. Next, they might thin out the tree in some areas to let light reach the bottom branches for a complete canopy. Finally, they will remove branches that stick out from the canopy or trim them back, bringing your tree from wild and unkempt to a manicured, even, and appealing shape.
In addition to physical changes to your tree’s appearance, pruning also helps your tree resist diseases and pest infestations. It promotes healthy growth and reduces stress, which can keep infestations and infections at bay. Pests and tree diseases almost always make your tree look less appealing, so healthy trees will have a greater chance of increasing your home’s value.
They Provide Privacy
Trees add more than natural beauty to your property; they also add a sense of privacy. Dense canopies can block the view into your home from outside, and they generally just make your house feel more secluded.
This is especially important in larger cities where the popular density is higher than average in Michigan. If you live in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Flint, or another major city, the privacy your trees provide could benefit your home value most.
Even if buyers are looking to move into a populated area, they’ll still value their privacy after moving in. If they pull up to your home and see that dense tree coverage offers a sense of privacy — even if neighboring houses are very nearby — they might be willing to pay a bit more for your home where they won’t feel so exposed.
How to Maintain Maximum Privacy
Any tree will naturally provide some seclusion, but you can maximize the sense of privacy they provide by choosing dense shade trees and properly maintaining the trees you already have.
Shade trees will naturally be fuller than other species and will give off a more impressive sense of privacy. We’ll discuss the specific species that will serve you best in Michigan below, but know that full red maples and bur oaks grow well in the area and add dense privacy to your property.
Additionally, scheduling annual maintenance for your trees with a professional arborist will go a long way in maximizing the privacy they provide. As we mentioned above, pruning services will remove dead and dying branches to make way for new, healthy growth. Counterintuitively, professional pruning will often lead to a denser canopy that makes your home feel even more secluded, private, and safe.
Additionally, pest treatments and injections to protect against tree diseases will go a long way in keeping your trees full and dense. Pests and diseases local to Michigan — including Asian longhorned beetles, balsam wooly adelgids, emerald ash borers, spotted lanternflies, tree rust disease, anthracnose, and tree canker — can all leave your trees’ canopies sickly and wilted, minimizing the privacy they add and potentially reducing your home’s curb appeal.
They Boost Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Dense trees on your property will also protect your house from the sun and harsh winds, which can make your home far more energy-efficient. Sunlight naturally heats your home, which can be an unwelcome addition to the already hot summers in Michigan. This is especially true when temperatures reach above 70 degrees and into the 80s from May through September.
More importantly, trees serve to block cold winds in the harsh Michigan winters, when temperatures routinely remain under 50 degrees for about half the year.
Trees near your home can block all of the sunlight that would otherwise heat your house, and they can add an extra layer of insulation and protection from the cold in the winter. As such, homeowners who have shaded homes typically have significantly lower heating and cooling bills in Michigan. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that trees can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 30% and heating costs up to 50%!
Buyers in today’s real estate market are wiser and more informed than ever before, so educated buyers are very likely to understand the benefits of trees on your property and the significant savings they will enjoy as a result. They might be willing to pay more for your home if they know they will save that extra investment and more over buying a house with no added protection from the elements.
How to Maximize Energy Efficiency With Trees
Choosing large, dense trees and maintaining them properly to encourage full, healthy canopies are the best ways to maximize the energy efficiency benefits your trees add to your property.
Once again, annual pruning is one of the best ways to maximize the energy efficiency your trees bring to your home. Professional pruning will lead to denser, healthier growth that will absorb more sunlight and better protect from cold winter winds.
Additionally, tree pest and tree disease treatments annually or on an as-needed basis will help keep the canopy dense and thriving, which will help add more protection from the elements.
Which Tree Species Add the Most Property Value in Michigan?
Trees provide numerous benefits for homeowners, especially since they can have a drastic effect on property value. While routine maintenance and treatments to keep your trees healthy and beautiful are most important, choosing the right trees will also help maximize what a buyer is willing to pay. Below are some of the tree species that add the most value to homes in Michigan.
The red maple is a native shade tree found throughout most areas of Michigan. It provides a massive canopy to boost your home’s energy efficiency and make your property feel more private. The stunning red canopy will also make your home look more appealing and inviting.
The bur oak is another native species in Michigan that provides ample shade. These trees can get massive — up to around 100 feet tall — and provide plenty of beauty and protection from the elements to boost home value. Educated buyers will also understand that native species like the bur oak require very little maintenance once mature.
Alternate Leaved Dogwood
This Dogwood variety is much smaller at about 15 to 20 feet tall, but it can still protect your home from sun and cold winds. It flowers in May or June and provides plenty of natural beauty to any property in Michigan. Plus, it’s well-suited for the climate and requires little care once fully mature.
The black gum is another flowering tree that thrives in Michigan’s climate. It has a striking black bark and stunning leaf coloration in the fall. The flowers also serve to add unmatched beauty to any property in the area.
What to Do If You Have Old, Unmaintained Trees On Your Property
If you have old trees on your property that have been unmaintained for a long time and you’re now looking to boost your property’s value, it’s best to call in an arborist for an assessment.
Old trees that have been left to grow on their own will often have an unmaintained and wild appearance, so a pruning service will help keep the tree looking well-kept almost immediately. However, trees in Michigan are prone to disease and pest infestation, so your arborist will need to assess the tree to see if it is infected or infested. If it is, your best option might be to remove it.
If you notice wilting leaves, unseasonal discoloration, holes or other physical damage to the leaves, missing sections of bark, dead or dying branches in the canopy, or small holes in the trunk, chances are your tree is suffering from a pest infestation or tree disease. In these cases, your arborist will likely suggest removal and root treatment to ensure the issue doesn’t spread to your other trees.
If your old tree is relatively healthy and just looks unmaintained, a simple pruning service and ongoing services annually will likely be enough to maximize the tree’s positive effect on your property value.