Trees add important value to residential property, and among tree species, oaks are one of the most prized. It is hard to overstate how oak trees benefit the world. Here are just some of the reasons these majestic trees are so valuable.
Accolades for the oak
Probably no species of tree has been as lauded as the oak. Large trees, which are often referred to as “mighty oaks,” have served as landmarks all over the world. The United States has thousands of cities and towns with the word “oak” in their name. The trees are even mentioned in the earliest poetry and literature.
Oak trees’ importance to the ecosystem
All trees play a valuable role in the natural order, but the contribution of oaks is impressive.
Like all plants, oak trees generate oxygen for the atmosphere. Their leaves serve as food for a vast number of insects and caterpillars. Innumerable bird species nest and rest in their branches and feed on the caterpillars. Once they’ve fallen, their leaves naturally mulch into the soil, creating rich humus. Oaks drop many thousands of acorns, which propagate oak saplings and feed the birds, raccoons, deer and many other animals that feast on them. The soil surrounding tree root systems becomes super enriched with micronutrients, making it a terrific home for other plants.
In the fall, oak trees’ leaves create an explosion of vibrant beauty with their rich shades of red, yellow and orange. Some breeds maintain their leaves through the winter and drop them in the spring, providing a contrast with other wintering trees that have no foliage.
Oak breeds can thrive in a wide spectrum of climates, cold and warm, wet and dry. For example, oaks that grow in upland areas thrive even in arid environments, whereas those in bottomland environs proliferate in very moist conditions.
Oak wood is dense, strong and has a gorgeous grain that creates some of the world’s most beautiful furniture, flooring, wall paneling and other home furnishings.
The United States has 91 species of oak trees. Mexico and China have more than 100 each. The regions with indigenous oak trees span the globe.
Are oaks slow-growing?
One belief about oaks as a landscape element is that they grow slowly. But some breeds grow nicely. The red oak grows about two feet per year, and the pin oak can exceed that. Ask your local nursery or tree farm about the faster-growing trees and the ones best acclimated to your region.
What oak trees can do for your property
According to some estimates, the presence of trees on a residential property increases its value by more than $7,000. The more mature the tree, the more valuable. Trees add to a property’s resale value and shorten a home’s days on the market. Trees casting shade on a house can lower its utility costs in the summer.
Oak trees hold exceptional value. With their majestic profile, centuries-spanning lifetime and steadfast presence, oak trees create a legacy on a property that will link generations. Your grandchildren may play on a rope swing hung from the branch of an oak that your parents planted.