Trees Are Worth the Investment

Trees improve cities by controlling temperature, absorbing water and carbon dioxide, and adding beauty.
May 12, 2018, 9am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Joseph Sohm

State University of New York Professor Theodore Endreny and his team sought to calculate the value of trees to their cities in terms of dollars and cents. Cities are serviced by their trees, Endreny argues in The Conversation. "These services can include food, clean air and water, climate and flood control, pollination, recreation and noise damping. We currently don’t simulate many services, so our calculations actually underestimate the value of urban trees."

Besides saving cities close to a million dollars per kilometer of tree cover in air pollution mitigation, "the median annual value of carbon dioxide sequestered by megacity tree cover was $7.9 million. That comes out to about $17,000 per square kilometer," Endreny writes. The study found a great variety in the density of the canopy of the 10 megacities, but "[a]ll of the cities we studied had the potential to add additional trees, with about 18 percent of the metropolitan area on average available."

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Published on Friday, April 27, 2018 in The Conversation
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