How Much Is A Tree Worth?

by Ron Haynes

Last fall Auburn University completed a yearlong study of 160 homes, “discovering” what people have known for years – it’s cooler in the shade! But what the study uncovered was exactly how much that little bit of coolness is worth.

After analyzing power bills, exact shade coverage, electricity usage habits, square footage, type of air conditioning, appliances, roofing, exterior material and other factors, Professor David LeGrand used local power rates to determine that homeowners could save as much as 11.4 percent with only 17 percent “heavy” shade coverage. The comparison was made with homes having zero shade.

Even landscaping with a few trees can make a significant difference. Homes with just 50 percent “light” shade can expect to save 10.3 percent on their electricity bill.

If your summertime electricity bill hovers in the $200-$250 range (like mine), you could be saving $100 or more in just a few months by planting a tree or two. That tree then becomes what financial planners call a “stream of income.” You get it every year! Who knew that trees could be a way to make extra money?

Of course, trees also provide beauty and increase property values. Those numbers aren’t as easily quantifiable but real estate experts will tell you that treeless homes are more difficult to market than homes with plenty of nature’s air conditioners.

So the next time you wonder what that giant old oak, that grove of maples, or a few birches, spruces, or firs are worth to your budget, now you know!

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 989 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.



15 years ago, when we built our house, we started planting trees, trees and more trees. Fruit trees, ornamentals and those that would give us color in the fall. Lush, is the word my husband described for me, when trying to explain exactly what he wanted for our yard. I love trees and we try to go to the mountains when fall arrives, to see even more color. And even though, we live right on a mountain that’s beautiful too. He loves to watch the birds, so he and I have a “constant’ around our yard. Beautiful color, big birds, baby birds, and animals with their young, fruit……….and the coolness during the day. Thank you for the reminder to love what God has given us!

Positively Present

Very interesting! Thanks for posting this!

Frugal Dad

The next time we’re in the market for a new home we plan to look for a house surrounded by trees. The area we are in now was a new development, and the builders cleared the land, and then plopped down the requisite two puny trees in the front yard of each home. So 75% of the year our house sits baking in full sun!

Kind of you to mention an Auburn U. study…Bama grad.


We’re in a similar boat. Most of our trees are on the east side of the house. What few I did have on the south and west sides were lost in the ice storm this year (man it was BAD).

Living out of state can even make the most die-hard Crimson Tide fan appreciate Auburn! My niece graduated from there yesterday.

Marc and Angel Hack Life

Oh, so green… ;-)

The more trees the merrier.

Nice concise article, Ron.

Mr. Pilgrim

I do love my trees. Yes it helps keep us cool and provides a place for the song birds to sing and feed. I also like to see the beautiful leaves in the autumn. Hey the grandchildren even like to see how high they can climb, to frighten grandpa. I was not aware of the savings.Thanks.

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