Arbor Day is just around the corner, and that means it’s a good time to plant trees.
In San Antonio, the national tree-planting event will take place Saturday, November 7.
In tandem with the occasion, CPS Energy and the City of San Antonio continue Green Shade Tree Rebates, which reward those who plant a minimum five-gallon tree of select native species on the west, south or east side of a home or building with a $50 credit on their CPS Energy bill. The offer runs between now and April 30. All you have to do is save your receipt and fill out this Green Shade Tree Rebate form. Rebates are limited to five, or $250, per customer address.
Since its inception in 2009, 7,457 trees have been planted. “Now in its seventh year, the Green Shade Tree Rebate program is a cost effective way to decrease energy consumption,” said Beth Lettman, CPS Energy environmental analyst.
You may be wondering why your locally owned and operated electric and gas utility promotes the planting of trees in our community. Here’s just a few of many reasons that tree planting is vigorously encouraged.
1. Trees conserve energy/cool the city
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “When planted properly, a single tree can save a homeowner up to 20% on energy costs.” In general, the temperature in the shade in a city under a mature tree is 10 degrees less than in the sun.
2. Trees save water
Tree shade protects lawns and plants from water evaporation–surely you’ve noticed how plants in the shade require less water. Also, trees slow rain run-off and soil erosion, an important quality in the “flash flood alley” of San Antonio. And, as they transpire, the tree equivalent of sweating, trees contribute moisture to the atmosphere.
3. Trees clean the air
Trees absorb pollutants like nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone while restoring oxygen to the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Trees also filter polluting particulates from the air by trapping them on leaves and bark.
4. Trees combat climate change
Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) while releasing the oxygen back into the air. According to several studies, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
5. Trees increase property values
Real estate agents will tell you that trees add major curb appeal to buildings and homes. A well-planted property with mature trees can increase property values by as much as 15 percent.
Convinced? All you have to do is buy a five-gallon or larger tree, save the receipt, then send in the application. The rebates apply to select native species. If you need help choosing an appropriate tree, check out the CPS Energy Tree guide for details.
Before you start digging, don’t forget to Call 811 Before You Dig. Not only could you damage an underground utility line when shoveling, utility line damage can occur later as the tree matures. Roots may interfere with utility lines and disrupt service, requiring removal. Also, trees planted too close to buildings can damage foundations.
So be smart and call 811. Someone will come out and mark your utility lines within two days so you can avoid them.