My house is surrounded by seven acres. This spring I wanted to plant some trees because our yard looks very bare. Let's just say I wanted a more attractive landscaping. I assumed it would be very expensive to purchase the trees, the soil and the mulch, so I was very hesitant. Fortunately, I did some research and found the Arbor Day Foundation. I was drawn in right away. By purchasing a yearly membership for only $15 I automatically received 10 free pine trees and a 33% discount on all other purchases. My membership also included 10 additional trees to be planted in our nation's forests in my honor!

In addition to great prices, Arborday.org has a lot of useful information. I learned that by positioning trees in certain spots it can actually help cut down the cost of heating and cooling bills. In upstate New York we have a lot of strong winds and sometimes I feel like our house is about to blow over. I'm constantly turning the heat up and watching my heating bill rise. The website showed me that by planting windbreak trees on the north and northwest sides of my house I could block some of the cold winds and save up to 30% on my heating bill. For one American Arborvitae, which is considered a windbreak tree, it is only $2.49 after my discount. They even have mixed windbreak collections with twelve trees starting at $20.99. That's only $1.75 per tree! The Arbor Day Foundation even showed me that by planting deciduous trees on the east and west side of my house I could create shade from the summer sun but still let in the sun for the winter months.

Now I've planted flowers before, but I've never planted a tree. I figured the process was similar but I was sure there was more care involved with a tree to help it grow. Within the website there is information from finding the right tree to planting and mulching to annual pruning care. There are even videos for each step of the process.

With my membership discount, most of the trees are under $5.00! They have every tree I would ever want. I wouldn't have thought that simply by planting a few trees I could help lower the cost of my bills, but I'm willing to try and see. Not only will I be lowering my bills but I will still have the aesthetic aspect of trees and help the environment.

This has been a guest post by Caitlin from Trumansburg, NY
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