The value proposition of large urban trees

We all know the intrinsic value of trees. They’re beautiful, consume carbon dioxide, provide shade, and help keep us cool. But new research finds that large trees (those over 77 centimeters in diameter) provide even greater benefits to humans than do small trees (those less than 8 centimeters in diameter). More from Next American City:

When we talk about street trees and the urban forest, sometimes we miss an essential truth: Not all street trees are created equal. Mature trees are an order of magnitude more valuable to us than young, small ones.

There is no shortage of scientific evidence supporting the incredible benefits that mature trees provide to urban neighborhoods. Yet many local policies seem to focus only on the quantity of trees being planted rather than the quality…Planting a million trees is great. But planting even 500,000 in conditions that allow them to survive, thrive and mature is exponentially greater.

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  • Reminds me of the “if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach him how to fish he eats for a lifetime.”

  • zschmiez

    Makes you wonder why they tore up the mature trees on 5th and Vine 2 years ago, and those on the east side of Fountain Square just this week. What are they doing anyway that takes 90+ days to complete?

    On a similar note, I’m amazed at how large and healthy the trees are along the south side of 3rd above Ft. Washington way. I guess all that CO^2 must be terrific plant food…

    • I believe there are leaks in the Fountain Square Garage that are being repaired. Due to the complexity of the site, and how the garage is incorporated, it can be a bit tricky to figure out. This is, in part, why the City wanted to rid itself of the financial obligations there.

  • Aaron Watkins

    Yeah the city where my parents live just came and cut a massive hole in the large tree in our front yard. It has made our property look worse. It makes you realize how much of a positive effect a healthy tree can have on just the appearance of a property.