Is there any time to lose improving YOUR home and lifestyle? Following is some news & research which has previously appeared in Get Results Gardening.
Gardens and Health
❏ International Society of Arboriculture, January 2015: Global research suggests forests and green spaces have a positive effect on people's health
An overview of research and the types of collaborations tree experts are involved in with the goal of better public health.
❏ HortTechnology December 2016: Exploring the Benefits of School Gardening for Children in Taiwan and Identifying the Factors Influencing these Benefits
This study identified seven benefits that school gardening children can give children, including an improvement in life skills, relationships and health.
❏ HortTechnology, December 2016: The Influence of Gardening Activities on Self-reported Health Problems, Allergies, and Body Mass Index (Abstract)
Gardening did not affect the incidence of allergies. There were no difference between gardeners and nongardeners in BMI, but gardeners reported more issues like high cholesterol and gallstones. Researchers suggest they may be using gardening as a form of "distraction therapy".
The Profit Motive
You've probably heard it said that good landscaping can help sell your home, and even get you a better price.
It's certainly a widespread belief among renovators and real estate agents, but considering the diverse factors involved in any one property sale, it's a difficult thing to measure accurately in real life.
Nevertheless, there are occasional attempts to apply testing and statistics to investigate this issue. Sometimes the landscaping of individual properties is studied, sometimes wider neighborhood effects.
A number of such studies are covered in the links below. These are drawn from all over the world and some of them are now quite dated. The extent to which comparisons with local markets can be made are therefore arguable, but property bugs may like to investigate these further.
Given the unavoidable limitations of this kind of research, we should probably avoid drawing definite conclusions from such studies. Differing tastes and market conditions specific to Australia may further reduce applicability here.
Compared to the USA, there isn't a lot of high-quality Australian information readily available online, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, here are a few studies from our continent that have some relevance.
A recent study that was actually conducted in Southeast Queensland is worth a closer look by all homeowners in the region.
For residents of increasingly dense suburbs, the road verge may be the only opportunity for enjoyment (if only "borrowed") of a moderately large tree in the vicinity of their home.
While footpath trees are mostly out of their control, homeowners can nevertheless encourage and support local authorities to plant suitable trees in their neighborhoods and maintain them properly.
Street trees could deliver in terms of property values, too. This has been shown in various American studies (see here and here), but one recently conducted in Brisbane has also indicated a connection.
The study was conducted by Lyndal Plant, University of Queensland. An article by the Nursery & Garden Industry Association summarising the results is available here (PDF download).
Besides estimates of house sale price differentials, there are interesting insights into which factors (e.g. species, age and diversity of trees present) were the most significant. If you're short of time, go straight to page three!
For more details, see Property value returns on investment in street trees: a business case for collaborative investment in Brisbane, Australia. (PDF)
Disclaimer: None of the above constitutes financial advice!