Trees good for homes, residents and environment

By Jane Geisler

Dearborn, MI (July 16, 2010)- Trees serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. They provide a natural setting for a home and outdoor living areas as well as enhancing yards and gardens. They also soften the hard lines of a building, offer neighborhood character, and provide color to the skyline. On a practical basis, trees absorb noise, filter the air, screen unattractive views and frame pleasant views.


The following information on the value of trees is provided by ACT
(Alliance for Community Trees at www.actrees.org): Healthy community
trees improve the environment by providing a natural filter to the
water supply reducing storm water runoff, flooding and erosion. As
natural air filters, tree foliage reduces particulate matter from the
air, including pollutants. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce
oxygen, reducing smog and overall air pollution.

Homes shaded by trees require less energy for cooling resulting in
lower summer utility bills and a reduced need for power generation
during peak demand periods. Shaded neighborhoods have a positive
economic influence on real estate values. One front yard tree reflects
a 1 percent increase in home sale price.

Designated as a Tree City USA for more than 20 years, the city of
Dearborn recognizes that trees add an important aspect to the quality
of life and the character of the community. In an effort to protect the
natural beauty of the city of Dearborn strongly encourages the
preservation of trees and the planting of new trees on residential
property.

Under a new ordinance, homeowners may need a permit to remove a tree on
their property and may be required to replace or relocate the tree.
They may also be required to make a $100 contribution to the city’s
tree fund if they remove a healthy tree and cannot replace it on their
property. The ordinance applies to any trees with a diameter at breast
height of 16 inches or more.

Under the ordinance, homeowners must file a tree removal application
with the city’s Residential Services Department. The application and
the permit are free. The city will conduct a site visit to verify
application information and trees will be evaluated for effect on the
quality of the area. Inspectors will also consider the tree’s species,
habitat quality, health and vigor, and size and density.

Permission will be granted to remove or relocate a tree when it is
consistent with good forestry practices or if it will enhance the
health of remaining trees. Under certain circumstances, permission will
also be granted, where necessary, for the location of a structure or
site improvement. Residents should know that city personnel can also be
resources for those who want to maintain or save trees on their
property. And Dearborn operates a tree-planting program for residents
at a low cost. These trees are planted in the easements. Planting
usually takes place in the spring. For more information on trees and
advice about tree-trimming and tree maintenance, call the Department of
Public Works at (313) 943-2317.

Related Resource:
Dearborn Press & Guide- Let’s Get Gardening: Trees good for homes, residents and environment