When you think of increasing your property value, a few things may come to mind — updating your kitchen, adding a bathroom, or finally getting rid of that shag carpet. But one way to raise your home’s value is by enriching your outdoor space — and it can be as simple (and invigorating!) planting a tree in your front yard.

In fact, research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pacific Northwest Research Station finds that a tree in front of a house in the Portland, Oregon, area increased the house’s sale price by an average of $7,130.

Why do trees increase your property value? They look nice obviously. But they can also help reduce your energy bills by shading your home, improve the soil, and dampen noise. Here are some options that’ll increase your property value, as well as your own enjoyment of your garden.

Five Trees To Consider to Increase Your Property Value

Mature trees: Yes, we know … you can’t make a tree grow up overnight. But when choosing trees, the older, more established ones may make the best impression.

Citrus trees: Who doesn’t want to make lemonade out of lemons? Or have fresh limes or lemons in the yard. Citrus trees usually have a pleasant, light scent, and the bonus of creating fruit almost everybody loves.

Ornamental cherry trees: Yes, we mentioned fruit trees, but for this we don’t mean “cherry” cherries. We mean the trees that create that cloud of pink- and white-spun sugar in the spring. People come from all over to see the beautiful cherry trees in Washington, D.C … you can have some of that same splendor in Anytown, USA.

Arborvitae: Some people may scoff at these for being “common,” but they are super handy as a privacy screen to block out neighbors. Plus they grow fast so you won’t have to wait long.

Trees that are indigenous to your area: If you live in Florida, you’ll want a palm tree. In the Pacific Northwest, evergreens reign. Often the trees that’ll have the biggest impact on your property value are those that are easy to maintain and are the right size and scale to mesh with the rest of the landscape. It’s a great question for a local arborist or garden center. Either can help you choose the best tree for your climate and the space available.

Trees That Might Decrease Your Property Value

Yes, most trees are good for your property value but there are things to watch out for.

  • Trees that are not property maintained: Make sure that limbs aren’t hanging over the roof or into a neighbor’s yard. If so, you may want to hire a professional to safely remove them.
  • Trees that are diseased or dyingKnow the signs to look for — such as dead wood, tree cracks and splits or signs of tree borers. Defective trees have a greater risk of falling, causing property damage or even injury.
  • Trees that are messy: Some trees, while gorgeous in their own right, can be real menaces. Sweet gum trees drop spiked balls. Silver Maple have shallow root systems that can wreak havoc on your lawn and sidewalk. The Bradford Pear has stinky flowers and thorny seedlings. 

And if a tree is ever falls on your house in a windstorm? Homeowners insurance can help foot the repairs … including the removal of the tree. Make sure your coverage is up to snuff today by getting a homeowners quote from Esurance — and find out how we’re making insurance surprisingly painless. 

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about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.