What Are Urban Trees Worth? Billions in Stored Carbon Emissions, Thousands to House Prices...

urban trees photo

photo: Wonderlane/Creative Commons

Lots of effort recently on quantifying the financial value of ecosystem services and here's one more small piece of that: The US Forest Service has just completed an assessment of the dollar value that trees add to the urban environment and the results are pretty interesting. Surveying Chicago, Sacramento and Portland, here's what trees are worth:In Chicago, the city's 3.6 million trees reduce are pollution by 890 tons annually, saving the city $6.4 million dollars.

In Sacramento, houses with trees planted on the south and west sides reduced summertime electricity bills by $25.16 on average.

Portland houses with trees growing in front or even just near a house added an average of $8,870 to sale price and reduced the average time a house was on the market by two days.

More broadly, the survey found that when trees were grown along public rights of way, they added a combined value of $12,828 to all houses within 100 feet.

In total, the United States' 3.8 billion urban trees store $14 billion worth of carbon emissions, remove air pollution that would cost $4 billion to do otherwise.

Now, remembering that we really probably shouldn't be just reduce trees (or any part of nature) just to its human utility value, this research is really pretty cool...

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More on Trees:
City Trees: Photographers Explore the Urban Forest
Britain's Oldest Trees Are Becoming Endangered Species
Trees Are Nature's Air Conditioners, Study Finds
Graphic Of The Day: Urban Trees A Significant And Growing Means Of Carbon Sequestration

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