Nursery Notes: Downtown Creston’s trees and shrubs contribute to well-being

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Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.

Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.

Another snowfall, nice and light this time! The last good snowfall had a lot more weight to it. As I drove through town early that morning, I noticed several of the other small business owners out cleaning their sidewalks and parking lots in preparation for the rest of the day. If you have the time to spare, it is pretty good exercise. If you don’t, it is just one more chore on the to do list.

Other items that catch my eye on the way through town are all the fine trees and shrubs planted down Canyon Street. OK, the trees look really pretty with the snow on them but the shrubs are under cover for a few more weeks. Not to worry; they were specifically chosen to take all the abuse. I’m proud to say that almost all of them came from my nursery.

Several studies have found that good landscaping increases community appeal. Parks and street trees have been found to rank second only to education (schools) in residents’ perceived value of municipal services offered. Well-landscaped grounds and places for taking walks are among the most important factors considered when individuals choose a place to live.

Besides the obvious — looking good — trees contribute to our well-being in several other ways, such as privacy, tranquility, increased self-esteem, stress reduction and lower blood pressure. For children, green space can help improve their attention spans. Green spaces are known to reduce vandalism.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture publishes that the net cooling affect of a young healthy tree in summer is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners operating for 20 hours a day. It has also been demonstrated that with the right landscaping you can cut your winter home heating costs. They also say that one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide from the air and puts out four tons of oxygen. With all the greenery around our community, this puts us in a pretty good place.

Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.