Earth to Gahan: Street trees increase home prices, shade trees reduce household energy use, and these effects can be measured and expressed in dollars.


Following up on Saturday’s post …

Pusillanimous prioritization? Nickels and dimes later, it remains that we need HUNDREDS of trees planted yearly, not a few dozen.

There it is, in a nutshell. The city needs hundreds of trees planted, not a few dozen, and confronted with this fact, the city council president can think of nothing more relevant to suggest than a bake sale.

Presumably we can hold this nickel-and dime event in July amid the urban heat island. Or, we might fund the Tree Board to succeed — and if city officials ever stepped outside their air conditioned cars and walked a few blocks, they might grasp the need.

… our friend W found two informative links. First, what it costs to plant trees.

Tree Planting Costs

Tree planting is a special task that can add to property value and increase curb appeal of the property, and may also serve to better separate your property from neighbors.

Average cost of a 4’ – 6’ tree, planted (about $ 106 each)

Then, how to determine what these trees are worth in cold, hard cash value.

Calculating the Green in Green: What’s an Urban Tree Worth?

For urban dwellers, trees soften a city’s hard edges and surfaces, shade homes and streets, enhance neighborhood beauty, filter the air, mitigate storm runoff, and absorb carbon dioxide. Trees may even reduce crime and improve human health. However, these benefits have not been well quantified, making it difficult for urban planners and property owners to weigh their costs and benefits or assess tree cover against competing land uses.

New research from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station demonstrates that street trees increase home prices in Portland, Oregon, that shade trees reduce household energy use in Sacramento, California, and that these effects can be measured and expressed in dollars.

A study led by economist Geoffrey Donovan, research forester with the PNW Research Station, determined that trees planted on the south and west sides of Sacramento houses reduced summertime electricity bills by an average of $25.16. In a second study in Portland, Donovan’s team found that street trees growing in front of or near a house added an average $8,870 to its sale price and reduced its time on the market by nearly 2 days. These economic benefits spilled over to neighboring properties: a neighborhood tree growing along the public right¬of-way added an average of $12,828 to the combined value of all the houses within 100 feet.