Learn About Pros And Cons Of Planting Trees

By Teo Spengler | October 8, 2019 Co Author: Mary Ellen Ellis
by Teo Spengler
October 8, 2019
and Mary Ellen Ellis

You may decide to plant a tree in order to beautify your backyard, provide shade in the hot summer, or create a privacy curtain to shield your garden from curious eyes. But the actual benefits – or detriments – extend well into the future. Tree planting advantages are obvious, but unless you are careful about tree selection and maintenance, you may also experience serious downsides. Read on for a full discussion of tree planting pros and cons.

Pros – Trees Planting Advantages

(Teo’s viewpoint) If you ever search for reasons to plant a tree, just take a drive around the neighborhood. Look up and down the avenues and note how tree-lined streets just feel safer, happier and healthier than those with only cement sidewalks and parked cars.

They offer unending beauty. One of the primary reasons we plant trees is for their relaxing beauty. They also provide shade in hot summer weather and a connection to nature. The color green reduces stress, and flowering or fruit trees also provide additional eye-candy. But improving the visuals of your yard or neighborhood is only one of many tree planting pros.

Trees help the environment. By planting trees, you also help make the world a better place. Appropriately planted trees can reduce noise pollution by blocking sound waves, reducing noise by up to 40 percent. They reduce air temperature by blocking sunlight and serve as a natural air conditioner as water evaporates from the leaf surfaces, removing heat energy from the air.

They help reduce pollution. Another tree planting advantage is that these woody plants trap dust, pollen and smoke from the air. Pollution is significantly reduced on the sheltered side of a tree. And they also help prevent surface water runoff.

Trees improve air quality. Perhaps the most important advantages of tree planting in these troubled times is how they assist with climate change by reducing the greenhouse effect. Trees absorb harmful gasses from the air, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. In return, they release oxygen (which we need to breathe). The amounts in question are impressive. While every gallon of gas you burn produces some 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, a big, healthy tree can take up and store 13 pounds of carbon every year. That means that an acre of trees gets rid of 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide.

Trees provide shelter. That tree you’ve planted in the landscape help to provide habitat for many animals, birds and insects – just another reason to add more.

Cons – Problems with Planting Trees

(Mary Ellen’s viewpoint) Of course, trees aren’t bad; everyone loves these majestic plants. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cons of planting trees in your yard or garden, or that trees are right for every space. There are some very valid reasons that you may want to reconsider putting in that new tree and opting for shrubs or flower beds instead.

Among the downsides of tree planting are costs, effort, maintenance, space limitations, and more. Yes, trees are pretty and offer shade, but they can also be real pain. Here are some very real problems with planting trees you just don’t want to have to face:

Trees are expensive. As compared to a compact little shrub or some native perennials, a tree is pricey. Expect to pay up to $200 each as well as any extra costs if you are having a landscaping company put them in. Mature trees are more expensive than little ones.

They’ll wreak havoc above and below ground. If you don’t have the right space for a tree that will grow from tiny to massive, that tree can cause a lot of damage. Under the ground, its roots can hit and break water lines and pipes, while up in the air the branches need to be trimmed or they may take down power lines.

Trees tend to grow slowly. So you take the time and pay the costly price of putting a tree in the ground and then wait, and wait. You want a big, beautiful tree with mature canopy and shade, but it could be decades before you get it. It’s not always worth the effort and time.

Maintenance is a must with trees. Sure, your other plants need to be maintained too, but not on the scale of a tree. Trees must be pruned and trimmed regularly; they drop leaves that you have to deal with every single fall, and trees may also make a big mess in the spring and summer with seeds and fruits that you’ll have to clean up.

Definitely avoid fruit trees if you want low maintenance. If you need a low-maintenance yard or garden, whatever you do don’t plant fruit trees. These trees are finicky and time-intensive. They require pruning, harvesting, and then cleanup when inevitably you can’t keep up with all the fruit. You’ll also have to protect it from insects and birds and watch for diseases, which are pretty common in fruit trees.

Do Reasons to Plant Trees Exceed the Cons?

Okay, the cons of planting trees may seem overwhelming when you really think about it. Unless you have unlimited space, money, and labor, avoid putting in new trees and stick with more manageable, cost-effective plants for your garden and yard. That said, the reasons for planting trees range from making your grounds more attractive to reducing the effects of global warming. While planting the wrong tree in the wrong place can result in serious problems, planting the right tree is the right place is always a good idea.

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  • RV Body Shop Near Me
    Comment added October 3, 2022Reply

    Really informative blog post.Really thank you! Great.


  • Amy Saunders
    Comment added March 24, 2022Reply

    Hey there! My aunt would be really happy and be inspired to make the right arrangement once I shared this article with her later. FYI, she told me last week that her backyard seems quite dull and she intends to turn that situation around by planting a few small trees. BTW, I just love it when you said that having such objects can make the air around our residence even fresher. http://www.tasfruittreegrowers.com.au/

  • Lorie Buenviaje
    Comment added January 10, 2022Reply

    The Philippines is naturally green. However, deforestation is so widespread.

  • Lorie Buenviaje
    Comment added December 7, 2021Reply

    I enjoy reading your articles, very informative especially when it comes to planting trees.

  • Kevin Sakers
    Comment added November 23, 2021Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful info. It is so appreciated. More info

  • Carl Gutierrez
    Comment added October 13, 2021Reply

    Tree planting in the Philippines and elsewhere, for that matter, has tremendous environmental benefits.
    Planting trees is one of the most empowering activities because of its positive impact on the environment. Trees fight climate change, and this fact cannot be emphasized enough.
    The Philippines is naturally green. However, deforestation is so widespread. We need to reverse the adverse effects of such. Otherwise, we will experience more droughts, floods, landslides, etc. Not to mention the country’s geographic location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which means there are several typhoons each year.


  • gyubhjbhj
    Comment added September 27, 2021Reply

    thgis id olol

  • Melisa Salvador
    Comment added June 25, 2021Reply

    Whenever I visit your website I enjoy reading your content because of the good articles.


  • Kannapolis Tree Service
    Comment added June 23, 2021Reply

    You are right that maintaining the trees are necessary. Contact us at https://kannapolistreeservice.com/ for the professional services.

  • Charlotte Fleet
    Comment added April 12, 2021Reply

    I love how you said that a great reason to plant trees in your yard is that they provide some shade during the hot summer weather. My husband and I want to improve the landscaping in our yard this month. We will have to find a great nursery that we can buy some trees from to plant in our yard and make it better prepared for summer. http://www.talltrees.com.au/

  • Anna Davis
    Comment added February 25, 2021Reply

    It's great that trees can reduce noise pollution up to 40%. I have been thinking about planting two or three trees in my front yard. I think it would create a cozy atmosphere and dampen the noise from the nearby road. https://www.peninsulaadvancedtrees.com.au

  • Aurora Alexander
    Comment added July 28, 2020Reply

    Actually didn’t expect those cons. Well for me, maintenance and their slow growth is not actually a bad thing. I bought three small trees from this nursery I found online: https://www.newwoodtrees.co.uk, and I’ve never been happier with the look of my garden. They do improve air quality and offer great aesthetics to my small garden. I’d get a few more if I have more space lol. Great article btw.

  • Jahid Hasan
    Comment added June 28, 2020Reply

    Good one! We should work with this type of content regularly. Tree panting and save trees are most important nowadays.

  • Mike Dyce
    Comment added November 12, 2019Reply

    The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. - old Proverb (with thanks to Andrew Yang)

    To address a few of the cons:

    It's all about picking the right tree for the right spot, and there are thousands of options in all shapes and sizes for most any landscape. As noted, fruit trees are generally high-maintenance - Paw paw (Asimina triloba) is but one low-maintenance option. Larger shade trees typically require much less maintenance if sited correctly. Proper pruning when still young, for long-term growth and structure for instance, may never need to be repeated, or rarely.

    As for leaf litter, the best idea is to leave it on the ground to feed soil micro-organisms - vital to tree health, - and build up soil tilth, moderate soil temps, and water loss. Grass is not meant to be grown under large trees, however, shade tolerant plants often originate in woodland settings and they too will appreciate the dormant season leaf cover. Personally, I rake and harvest my maple tree leaves forming the basis of my composting bins. I can't get enough! And btw, Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandilfolia) leaves are a major complaint from homeowners as they are VERY slow to break down and will absolutely smother any attempt to grow grass beneath them. As I tell clients, these stately trees are modest and should be left with a low skirt of limbs brushing the ground. The tree looks better and leaf litter is left to fall beneath the tree where it belongs. In other words, DON'T limb up a Southern Magnolia! You AND the tree will be happier.

    Trees with large nuts such as Walnut, Hickories, Oaks, or spiky seedpods like Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), one of the best for fall color, are best left for areas not close to buildings, gardens, or frequent paths. If you enjoy seeing and feeding wildlife, by all means plant them. Just give them plenty of room! BTW, there is a sterile, non-fruiting cultivar of the Sweetgum called 'Rotundiloba' if you'd like the color and shade without the annoying spiky "gumballs" usually encountered.

    Trees are an investment in the future and most outlive the planter by decades, some by centuries!! Do your research for the right tree for your home and garden, and don't forget to look up when you're planting. You don't want the local utility butchering your pretty trees later on because they've grown into the power lines!! And don't plant too close to the house. That cute little tree you just planted will get bigger over time.

  • Carolann Lucente
    Comment added October 18, 2019Reply

    Our first ever damage from a tornado resulted in lots of trees toppled and damaged. Two that I especially miss right now are the plain ordinary silver maples. We had two very large ones that shaded our patio and then the house in the afternoon. They had to be removed. Now it is so hot in the house, and we cannot sit on the patio as before. We would like to plant a few trees in the spots where the maples stood. Do you have a suggestion. I like trees that are bird friendly, my husband wants a fast grower. Thank you for all you do.

  • pete
    Comment added October 16, 2019Reply

    leave a legacy/i love going by my grandparents house and marvel at the trees my grandfather and father planted

  • KAWeeks
    Comment added October 11, 2019Reply

    Hurricane Michael took down 90% of the trees in the Florida PanHandle. Florida Extension office has held several workshops about right tree, right spot. I appreciate the way your article listed Pro/Con. I am doing my research on a loquat tree that was given to me. Also have planted a red maple and need to rethink/redesign that placement.

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