Did you know that the trees in our community offer much more than beauty and shade? According to a recent study conducted by Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG) and the Shade Tree Commission, 1,200 trees inventoried in a March study have a value of $6,411.33 annually or $1.3 million for the trees’ lifetime!
DRG assessed trees in all Municipal parks, the Public Works’ site, Community Center, the Municipal Building, and the Bethel Green Allegheny Land Trust.
Monetary Annual Benefits of Trees in the Study
- The inventoried trees remove 441 lbs. of airborne pollutants ($3,598 value)
- Reduce the risk of stormwater runoff and flooding by 182,727 gallons ($1,733 value)
- And, reduced CO2 at 15,256 lbs. ($1,180 value)
- Inventoried trees also store carbon at an estimated value of $115,403!
Trees have many Outstanding Benefits to the Community!
These benefits include environmental, economic and social benefits.
- Environmentally, they decrease energy consumption, act as mini reservoirs, reduce noise levels and cleanse the air, reduce street level pollution by up to 60%, and stabilize the soil while providing a wildlife habitat.
- Economically, trees are very beneficial and can increase residential and commercial property values by an average of 7% and moderate temperatures in both summer and winter along with numerous other benefits.
- Socially, tree-lined streets are shown to be safer and have a positive impact on stress reduction for those living or enjoying time near them.
How were the Trees Evaluated?
The trees were inventoried listing their species, size, condition, and risk assessment and documented through a DRG program called “TreeKeeper 8.” Trees were analyzed for their branch structure, trunk, canopy, foliage condition, and presence of pests. They were then rated by an arborist as “Good,” “Fair,” “Poor,” or “Dead.” Most trees were either in the “Good” or “Poor” categories (44% and 27% respectively). Therefore, dead trees and trees in poor condition are being considered for removal or treatment as soon as possible. Younger trees in these categories will be pruned to try and recover their health over time. Poor condition ratings in mature trees were mainly due to decay, dead limbs, sparse branching, or poor structure; these trees will also be pruned and receive intensive plant health care to improve their vigor and will be monitored.
The study identified which trees should be removed due to having defects that cannot be cost-effectively or practically corrected, determined priority pruning, routine pruning, and training young trees via specialized pruning techniques.
Guidelines for Tree Categories
Young trees are considered 0-8” in diameter; established trees, 9-17” in diameter; maturing trees, 18-24” in diameter; and mature trees, greater than 24” in diameter.
The two most prevalent trees were Black Cherry and Black Locust with Boxelder following close behind.
What You Can Do!
If you love trees, consider planting one! We found that there’s an excess of established trees and we have a shortage of young trees in the community.
Need More Information?
Contact Jeff Winkle, Interim Municipal Planner, at 412-831-6800, x382 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.