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Pittsburgh Municipal Forest Resource Analysis

A cost-benefit analysis of Pittsburgh's street tree program using software developed by the USDA Forest Service called STRATUM showed that Pittsburgh's 29,641 publicly managed street trees provide cumulative benefits to the community valued at an average of $81 per tree annually, for a gross total value of $2.4 million annually. When the city’s annual $816,400 in tree-related expenditures are considered, the net annual benefit to the city is $1.6 million, or $53 per tree per year.
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  • The 2005 City of Pittsburgh Street Tree Inventory data establishes a basis for a complete cost-benefit analysis of Pittsburgh's street tree program using new software developed by the USDA Forest Service called STRATUM, (Street Tree Resource Analysis Tool for Urban Forest Managers). The analysis provides a dollar value for the environmental work provided by each tree.
  • Pittsburgh's 29,641 publicly managed street trees provide cumulative benefits to the community valued at an average of $81 per tree annually, for a gross total value of $2.4 million annually. This is composed of:
    • Street trees provide shading and climate mitigation effects, reducing electricity and gas use by 2,227 MWh and 811,917 therms for a total savings of approximately $1.2 million, with a citywide average of $40.66 per street tree.
    • A 5,303 ton reduction in carbon dioxide, valued at $35,424 per year, for an average net benefit per tree of $1.20.
    • An air quality improvement provided by the street tree population from the removal and avoidance of air pollutants valued at $252,935 per year, with an average net benefit per tree of $8.53.
    • The interception of 41.8 million gallons of stormwater annually, for an average of 1,411 gallons per tree. The total value of this benefit to the city is $334,601 per year, or an average of $11 per tree.
    • Property value increases, aesthetics, and other less tangible improvements are valued at $572,882, for an average of $19.33 per tree.
  • When the city’s annual $816,400 in tree-related expenditures are considered, the net annual benefit to the city is $1.6 million, or $53 per tree per year. Pittsburgh receives $2.94 in benefits for every $1 that is spent on its municipal forestry program.

Prepared by the Davey Resource Group

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Last modified by Nate Lotze

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