What is the Value of a Tree?

- Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What is the Value of a Tree?

Environmental Allies understands TCEQ requirements regarding tree protection. We also understand the reasoning behind tree protection and the value of trees and the benefits they offer to land owners, pedestrians, customers, home owners, end users and many others.

As more and more attention is paid to the environmental aspects of construction, the question is asked, "What is a tree worth?" Builders or contractors often ask, "Why do I need tree protection?" It all depends on who you ask, but most experts agree that a tree has value. The value of a tree cannot always be expressed in dollars. Less tangible benefits, such as cool shade, flowers or blooms in the spring, or fall colors can't be assigned a dollar value.

However, researchers from the US Forest Service at UC-Davis have been able to assign monetary value to trees. Their research shows that for every $1 spent on keeping a city or urban tree alive, we get $5.82 back. According to Growing Greener Cities, a book published in 1992 by the American Forestry Association, trees have significant monetary benefits. They have found that a single tree provides $73 worth of air conditioning, $75 worth of erosion control, $75 worth of wildlife shelter, and $50 worth of air pollution reduction. Compounding this total of $273 for fifty years at 5% interest results in a tree value of $57,151.

The list of benefits of trees includes:

  • Shade, which reduces the urban heat island effect
  • Mitigating air pollution
  • Retaining stormwater and reducing peak flows
  • Leave or foliage that falls from trees can create an environment for organisms in the ground that help maintain soil porosity
  • Noise from highways and other sources can be reduced with trees 

Read more about it here:

Tree protection installed by Environmental Allies is shown below.


So when it comes to tree protection on a construction site, consider this:  It takes 20 to 30 years for newly planted trees to provide the aesthetics and ecological functions and benefits of a mature tree stand. Doesn't it stand to reason that it's better to protect a mature tree than to remove it? Environmental Allies can provide and install the materials needed for tree protection. For more information, please call 281-442-4112.