• Does the severe weather of the past several years have you looking up at your trees in fear? It’s an understandable concern. A big storm could destroy the plants’ majesty in a flash — and send a quarter-ton branch crashing down onto your roof.  Still, before you preemptively chip a favorite tree into mulch, consider this: It may be contributing 8% to 10% to your home’s value, according to Scott Cullen of the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.

Here’s how to keep your leafy assets from becoming a liability.

  • Schedule regular upkeep
  • Have your trees inspected every five years or so — a free service offered by tree-care companies. An arborist will look for branches that are weak or hanging within 10 feet of a building, and send workers to remove them.
  • If necessary, they’ll also buttress the tree against high winds by cabling limbs together. All this work costs about $200 to $400 a tree and is typically needed only once a decade.

Related: Tips on homeowners insurance

  • In many cases the tree will more than cover the cost of its maintenance over a few years; a big shade tree will knock nearly $70 off annual air conditioning bills, says David Nowak of the U.S. Forest Service, and a large evergreen that blocks winter winds will reduce heating costs by around $60 a year.

Bonus: Trees also provide protection from road noise and basement flooding.

Get removal right

  • When a tree becomes diseased or dangerously overgrown given its proximity to a house, your arborist will recommend taking it down.
  • Removing a substantial tree could cost $2,000 to $5,000, depending on its size and whether it is accessible by truck or requires climbing — and what’s underneath that the crew must protect.

Related: 4 ways to save on landscaping

  • You can have the stump ground down to just below grass or mulch height for $50 to $200 more. Or carve a trough in the top, drill some drainage holes, and use it as a planter.

Invest in new growth

  • To replace an unsafe tree or propagate a bare lot, look for varieties that grow quickly and have compact spreads to minimize pruning headaches, says Charlotte, N.C., landscape architect J’Nell Bryson.

A local nursery can suggest good options and plant eight-footers for $250 to $500 each. In about a decade they could add tens of thousands to your property value, probably the best investment return you’ll ever make.

About Carol

As a premier real estate agent in the South Bay, I’m here to provide you with all the resources and information you need to buy or sell real estate. I work with buyers and sellers in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Long Beach and the surrounding areas and I’ve had extensive training in the latest real estate marketing strategies. I’m confident that I can offer you knowledge and tools most other agents can’t. Contact me so I can keep you updated on the latest real estate activities in our community and answer any questions you may have. I look forward to working with you!
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