The Cost of a Well-Maintained Urban Tree Canopy Is Actually Pretty Cheap
"A new research report from the Nature Conservancy argues that for just $8 per person, the U.S. could maintain and then significantly expand the tree canopy of American cities," reports Jared Green.
The report argues for the protection and expansion of urban forests at a time when many urban tree canopies are declining. In total, U.S. cities lose 4 million trees a year, or 1.3 percent of the total tree stock.
The report identifies several studies that put a figure on the multiplier benefit of trees in developed settings—which rack up in terms of heat island effect, water quality, and well being.
The news about all the benefits of urban tree canopies "still hasn’t reached the general public or even arborists, writes Green. "This is reflected in the fact that average U.S. municipal spending on urban forestry has fallen by more than 25 percent since 1980, to around $5.83 per urbanite today."