An often over looked way to raise the value of your home is through trees. Compared to other aspects of landscape design, tress–as well as some shrubs–are one of the few investments in the sheer sense of the word “investment”, as they will actually grow in size and foliage over the years if properly planted, and therefore change in value compared with other so called landscape investments that just deteriorate.

While you can raise the value of a home before selling by removing dead trees and threatening limbs, I don’t find this the most cost effective way to raise value in a home per dollar as the average price of tree removal state to state is typically costly. Better instead, when you first move in and get a basic landscape plan, outline to have some affordable shrub trees put in on the property. Don’t be arbitrary about it, discuss with an arborist or landscape designer which trees would grow the best on your property, and figure out how to use them strategically to frame your yard, shade, and or draw a viewer’s eye to as is needed.

A great example of how a small investment in trees or bushes can really raise value, is putting them in a spot where the aesthetic element of them will be matched with offering privacy as well, for example, abutting a neighboring yard. In urban areas in particular, trees offer serious curb appeal and such homes sell quicker and for more money.

While big trees are costly, small ones –which grow big some day– can be found for under $500, including fruit bearing trees. Some trees can even be found on sites like Craigslist for free, because someone else needs them removed to make way for construction. Covering moving costs can snag a deal of a tree.