Trees have many benefits

Runnels County Register

Trees planted in urban areas often serve several architectural and engineering functions. They provide privacy, emphasize views or screen out objectionable views. They reduce glare and reflection, direct pedestrian traffic, and even provide background to enhance architecture. Trees bring natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban surroundings, which increase the quality of life for residents of the community.

Runnels Soil & Water Conservation District #232

Trees are also beneficial near and around homes. In winter, we value the sun’s radiant energy; and because of this, we should plant only small deciduous trees on the south side of homes. Wind speed and trees affect direction. The more compact the foliage on the tree or group of trees, the greater the influence of the windbreak. The downward fall of rain, sleet and hail is initially absorbed or deflected by trees and this provides some protection for people, pets and buildings. Trees intercept water, store some of it, and reduce storm run-off and the possibility of flooding. Dew and frost are less common under trees because less radiant energy is released from the soil in those areas at night. Furthermore, property values of landscaped homes are 5-20% higher than those of non-landscaped homes. Direct economic benefits are usually associated with energy costs. Air conditioning costs are lower in a tree-shaded home. Heating costs are reduced when a home has a windbreak.

In agricultural sense, planting trees can be just as important as urban planting. Birds and other wildlife are attracted to areas where trees are abundant. Animals and wildlife use trees as a

natural cover and habitat in which to live and reproduce. Additionally, the natural cycles of plant growth, reproduction and decomposition are present, both above and below ground. Natural harmony and fertility are restored to overused farm and ranch land. Trees are also used as windbreaks in windy regions such as the Panhandle and West Texas areas.

For more information on trees adaptive to your area, please contact the Runnels Soil and Water Conservation Service. The deadline to order trees is Monday, February 1, 2021. Please call the Natural Resources Conservation Service office at 325-365-3415 ext. 3 or come by 2000 Hutchings Avenue in Ballinger