Research shows there are many benefits to gardening, such as improved mental and physical health. But plants and trees are doing double duty as you increase your overall quality of life through getting your hands dirty and planting something.

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Plants and trees provide environmental health and investment value

Research shows there are many benefits to gardening, such as improved mental and physical health. But plants and trees are doing double duty as you increase your overall quality of life through getting your hands dirty and planting something.

That’s right — putting trees, flowers or shrubs in the ground not only provides you with beauty and shade, but also improves your property value, lowers your energy costs, cleans the air and water, and even lowers your heart rate.

Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association wants to help improve your quality of life and the environment — so plant something!

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Plants and Trees Improve the Environment

One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

When you plant a hydrangea or maple, you get plenty more than just pretty flowers and leaves. While standing there looking gorgeous, flowers, trees and grasses are also busy doing janitorial service on the environment. In urban and suburban settings, vegetation helps reduce stormwater runoff; decreases pollutants and suspended solids in surface-water runoff; and reduces sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter from the air.

Plants and Trees Increase Your Home Value

Adding a beautiful landscape to a home can increase its value by up to 15 percent and can accelerate its sale by five to six weeks, according to the American Nursery & Landscape Association.

A great way to put more green in your pocket is to start putting more of it in the ground. A beautiful landscape increases the value of any home or property. And it sure beats painting. Ever compare the price of houses on a tree-lined street versus comparable places on a barren boulevard? The difference will make anyone an instant plant lover.

Plants and Trees Help Save Your Money

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that just three properly placed trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in annual heating and cooling costs.

Planting greenery and enjoying its beauty have been proven to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. What’s more, they can substantially lower your home’s temperature and energy bill.

By carefully positioning trees and shrubs to shelter your house from the sun and wind, you can reduce your heating and cooling energy consumption by as much as 25 percent, which should lower your blood pressure even more.

Plants and Trees Build Community

According to the University of Illinois, the better the landscaping in common areas of a neighborhood, the more those spaces are used by residents — hence the more opportunities there are for social interaction between neighbors.

One of the most important factors in neighborhood satisfaction is the abundance of trees and well-landscaped grounds. Public spaces are like backyards we all own together. Community gardens encourage community participation. Such is the power of plants to attract people — both to public spaces and to each other.

Join our cause and plant something. Look for a Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association member nursery or landscape professional that can help.

ADVERTISER INFO: Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association
Website: http://www.wsnla.org