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    Forestfront Property Adds Value and Emotional Health

    September 19, 2019 11:04 AM | Becky Aliffi (Administrator)

     - Submitted by Neil Norton, Executive Director of the GAA, is a certified arborist in the Atlanta area. He works for TreeInspection.com, LLC. He can be reached at nilo@mindspring.com or 404-271-6526.

    Atlanta is known as the “City of Trees,” and for good reason: it is the most heavily forested city in the United States. With nine million trees in the metro area, Atlanta has close to twice as many trees as any other metropolitan area.[1] I often share with my tree inspection clients whose homes are surrounded by trees that they have “forestfront” property, the equivalent of beachfront property by the sea.

    Like the ocean, urban trees can have a calming effect on us. Studies have found that seeing nature affects worker attitudes and well being, reduces stress, and increases women’s fertility. Dr. Rachel Kaplan has found that workers who can see nature from their desks experience 23 percent less time-off sick.[2] than their colleagues who do not have a nature view.  Desk workers who can see nature also report greater job satisfaction.[3] Hospital patients with views of trees have been found to recover significantly faster than those who are surrounded by walls.[4]

    Trees are an important component of real estate value. Like beachfront property, forestfront property sells for a premium. The presence of larger trees both in yards and as street trees can add anywhere from 3% to 15% to home values throughout neighborhoods.[5] In another study, 83% of realtors believe that mature trees have a “strong or moderate impact on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%.”[6]

    With benefits comes responsibility, however. The question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?” does not apply in the urban setting. Tree failure usually causes damage to property and sometimes loss of life. These accidents are widely reported in the news and often create fears about trees. The easiest way to alleviate those fears - and mitigate risk wherever possible - is to have a certified arborist look at your trees to evaluate their health. Tree evaluations, especially for trees both close to the home and along busy roads and walkways, should be performed prior to new home purchases.  It is also important for established homeowners to have periodic tree evaluations by a certified arborist.

    A certified arborist is a tree professional who is educated in the science of trees and tree care. Many certified arborists are also TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification) certified. TRAQ is a training program put on by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) which teaches certified arborists a systematic method for evaluating trees.

    You can find an independent arborist or a tree service by going to the website of the Georgia Arborist Association,https://georgiaarborist.org. Certified arborists are also listed by location on the website of Trees Are Good,http://www.treesaregood.org, the ISA’s educational website for the public.

    Trees and humans have a reciprocal relationship. Your trees can help you relax and breathe; you help maintain their health.  Be a good steward of trees by enjoying their many benefits, maintaining them responsibly and planting new trees whenever possible.

     - Neil Norton, Executive Director of the GAA, is a certified arborist in the Atlanta area. He works for TreeInspection.com, LLC. He can be reached at nilo@mindspring.com or 404-271-6526.

    - Photo by Tobi Ames

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    [1] Nowak, David. “A Ground-Based Method of Assessing Urban Forest Structure and Ecosystem Services.” Arboriculuture & Urban Forestry 2008. 34(6):347-58

    [2] Kaplan, R. 1992. Urban Forestry and the Workplace. In P. H. Gobster (editor), Managing Urban and High-Use Recreation Settings. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report NC-163. Chicago, IL: North Central Forest Experiment Station.

    [3] Wolf, K 1998 Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants, University of Washington College of Forest Resources, Factsheet #1.

    [4] Wolf, K 1998 Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants, University of Washington College of Forest Resources, Factsheet #1.

    [5] Wolf, K.L. 2007 (August). City Trees and Property Values. Arborist News 16, 4:34-36.

    [6] USA TODAY , Vol. 123, No. 2590 , July 1994, Survey conducted by Arbor National Mortgage Inc.

    Georgia Arborist Association


    Email:  info@georgiaarborist.org
    Phone:  (404) 913-1422
    Address:  GAA ~ P.O. Box 2516, Decatur GA 30031

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