Growing trees in the low desert can offer many benefits to the homeowners who plant them, as well as to their neighborhoods.
Consider these six reasons to plant trees in your Phoenix yard:
#1 - Shade for Your Home (And Community)
Placing trees in your yard and around your home can shade outdoor living areas and even help cool your home – and lower your energy bill as a result. Planting a tree on the west side of your Phoenix home, for example, can shade your patio or living areas and reduce air conditioning demand. If you plant a deciduous tree (one that loses leaves in winter), the sun can help warm your patio or living space in winter.
Of course, the benefits of shade from trees is obvious to anyone who spends time outdoors. The shade is a great place for kids to play and adults to cool off from outdoor activities.
In urban areas, trees can provide shade to whole neighborhoods, including parked cars (no more climbing into an oven when you need to drive somewhere!). In fact, trees can cool an entire city by several degrees, breaking up some of the heat from asphalt and other hard materials.
#2 - Wind and Sound Breaks
If you've ever driven down a rural road, you've likely seen a line of trees, often evergreens, along one side of a home's yard. The row of trees reduces the wind's force.
Trees also can muffle noise from nearby traffic (or your noisy neighbors) and provide screening for privacy.
They can also trap some of the ever-present blowing dust in their canopies.
#3 - Habitat for Wildlife
Wildlife depend on trees, even in urban areas. Trees provide some protection from predators and shelter for nesting sites. Some help feed birds with fruit, nuts or seeds. And tree blossoms can attract bees and other pollinators.
#4 – Improved Air Quality
Tree leaves can trap some of the particulates in the air on leaves and filter the air. They also absorb carbon dioxide, using the carbon but releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. In this way, trees benefit the entire valley and the world around us!
#5 - Landscape Interest
Trees can complement or anchor a landscape design. If shade is your priority, choose rapidly growing trees that do well in our climate (for examples, see the list of approved trees for Anthem) and place them where you most want shade, keeping in mind the track of the sun at peak summer heat. Then design around the tree, planting favorite shade-loving flowers in its shadow. Use bloom time to help balance color in your garden. For example, complement yellow spring flowers of a Blue Palo Verde with purple salvias in foreground sunny spots.
You’ll find our top recommendations for spring-blooming trees here.
#6 - Water Savings
Even though trees need water to thrive, they can save water in your landscape. Trees take up and use some water, but the shade from trees slows down water evaporation from the area underneath them. Trees also can control water runoff and erosion. As with any vegetation, trees absorb and filter rainwater. By choosing native and drought tolerant trees, you can save some water from runoff or evaporation without needing to use extra water to maintain the trees.
A Few Bonus Benefits
Trees also can provide nuts or fruit for you, family and neighbors. Realtors often describe how mature trees help homes sell. And enjoying the view of a majestic or colorful tree from your window just feels right.
If you’d like some help in deciding which trees to plant and where to place them, give us a call to learn more about the most beneficial trees for your low-desert home.