More people than ever before are living in cities. In fact, the Earth Institute at Columbia University claims that, for the first time ever, half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. While this presents a number of challenges in terms of infrastructure and support, the question we ask is “what about the city trees?”
Take New York City, whose tree canopy is estimated to cover 27% of the city. Studies show that these trees store about 1.35 million tons of carbon valued at $24.9 million. They also remove about 2,202 tons of air pollution saving approximately $10.6 million per year. Additionally, city trees help to control storm water runoff, keep streets cool in the summer and have been proven to improve mood and positively impact mental health.
Facts like this support the need for a plan to protect these city trees that give so much back. All of the wonderful attributes of trees can be enjoyed by city residents but it takes a consistent effort on the part of individuals and city government. To be effective, tree management needs to occur at multiple levels from the landscape scale to the area scale to the site scale, and includes tree canopy assessment and planning, tree assessment, inventory and management planning, risk assessment, and protection and management during construction.
The Consulting Group at SavATree specializes in helping cities to maintain their urban canopy so it can be enjoyed for years to come. For more information, visit www.savatree.com/consulting.