- 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
Last modified by Nate Lotze