t is easy to come up with reasons to plant trees. They add beauty and grace to any community
setting. They make life more enjoyable,
peaceful, and relaxing. Recent studies
More than that, we can attribute a monetary value to the
trees along our streets. Since 1992, the
¨ Conserving energy by shading buildings and paved surfaces
¨ Filtering airborne pollutants
¨ Removing atmospheric carbon dioxide
¨ Reducing stormwater runoff
¨ Increasing the value of our homes
Tree beautification in New Rockford.
The Center has developed web-based programs to help communities assess the benefits of their street trees. Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent (Simpson and McPherson, 1996) and can save 20-50 percent in energy used for heating (Heisler, 1986). A large tree intercepts up to 4000 gallons of rainfall per year in its crown, reducing runoff of polluted storm water (McPherson et al., 1999 and 2000). Typical benefits - in terms of energy savings, air quality, health benefits, positive impacts on business – from 100 trees over 40 years, have been calculated at a worth of $225,000 (McPherson et al., 2002).
All that said, it is so important for communities to embrace the value of its trees, and to realize the need to support local forestry programs. These needs should be addressed as natural resource elements within community strategic plans. With threats of diminishing federal- and state-based funding programs, local leaders need to pursue innovative methods of supporting forestry programs in their communities.