PERHAPS you've planted one in your front garden, a couple in the backyard or a small one in a pot on the balcony of your apartment.
Maybe you've got a bit more space and have put in a row of trees along the back fence to stop the neighbours peering in, or along the side boundary so you don't have to look at your neighbour's big new extension.
Congratulations on doing your bit to beautify your property and neighbourhood. But what you almost certainly haven't done is plant as many trees as Victorian farmer John Toll.
Mr Toll, a lamb producer from Gunbower in northern Victoria, has planted up to 40,000 native trees and shrubs over the past 20 years on his property on the Patho Plains.
The vegetation, which is up to about 15 metres tall, covers about seven per cent of his 890 hectare farm in corridors and shelter belts. But the 70-year-old is not done yet. He wants to lift total planting to about 60,000 native trees and shrubs, covering about 10 per cent of the farm.
The treed areas provide shelter for stock, are a haven for small birds and other native wildlife, improve the aesthetics of the farm and sometimes host a family picnic.
"It's just amazing to walk in there and see ant nests and logs laying down there with lizards under them, all that stuff," he said.
But the benefits of the native vegetation extend further. According to a new study by Australian researchers, recently published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, native trees and shrubs increase the value of rural properties. Based on the findings, they have probably added tens of thousands of dollars to the value of Mr Toll's farm.
In raw numbers alone the benefit seems to have outweighed the planting costs on Mr Toll's farm, which he estimates as "at least $20,000".
Asked if the plantings had been a success, he said. "Very much so. It changes the landscape and the wind protection from the south and south west is very good. The results have pleased us immensely."
Mr Toll said the vegetation gave his livestock protection from windy conditions and moderated the impact of very high and very low temperatures.
The research findings were based on the sale of about 7200 rural properties in north central Victoria over more than 20 years. The study found that native vegetation could add up to 25 per cent to the value of a rural property.
One of the researchers, David Pannell✓ from the school of agricultural and resource economics at the University of Western Australia, said the study showed that landholders were willing to pay more for land in central Victoria that had some native woody vegetation on it, than land that did not.
"What we think that means, or reflects is that landholders actually place a value on having woody vegetation on their properties," he said.
"That value could come from various things; it could be that they personally like having trees, it provides amenity, they think it's beautiful, they think it's nice to have native species and native animals attracted to the property – that's one possibility. Another possibility is that they get some financial benefit through providing shelter for livestock if they're a commercial farmer," he said.
"Another possibility is that they may be thinking of subdividing and selling the property, to maybe lifestyle landholders who put a particularly high value on native vegetation," he said.