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Snowdrop (Galanthus) book review

The Wrong Reasons to Plant a Tree

The March/April issue of America’s Backyard Living magazine has just arrived and, to mark Arbor Day on April 27 (two and half months away!), it includes a list of the Top Five Reasons to Plant a Tree. And their Number One reason to plant a tree? I kid you not: “Trees boost the market value of your home.”

Oh please… Isn’t the Number One reason to plant a tree the fact that trees look beautiful? Strangely, this most obvious reasons doesn’t appear in the Top Five list at all. This is their list.

These are:

  • 1. Trees boost the market value of your home.
  • 2. One young tree has the cooling effect of 20 air conditioners.
  • 3. Trees can cut your heating costs by 20 percent to 50 percent, and cooling costs by 30 percent.
  • 4. In lab tests, a tree-filled scene reduced test subjects’ stress within 5 minutes.
  • 5. One acre of trees absorbs 6 tons of carbon dioxide and produces 4 tons of oxygen. That’s enough fresh air to sustain 18 people for a year!

The fact that economics dominates, and aesthetic and spiritual considerations don’t even get a mention, seems especially depressing. I need to look out of the window into the woods just to relieve the stress created by reading this list.