Published: April 25, 2013 by the Northeast Region
Contact(s): Kimberly Miller, urban forestry assistant, 920-662-5440; Tracy Salisbury, northeast region urban forestry coordinator, 920-662-5450
OSHKOSH, Wis. - A recent analysis of street trees and canopy cover completed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources showed public trees provide $335,268 in annual benefits. In addition, the canopy analysis revealed Oshkosh is currently covered by 18% tree canopy with the potential of an additional 49% of canopy cover.
The study highlights the significant values that community trees provide Oshkosh residents including the following:
• $103,183 per year in summer cooling and winter heating energy savings
• $92,722 per year in storm water management savings by intercepting more than 3.4 million gallons of storm water annually
• $109,762 per year increase in local property values
• $16,332 per year in air quality improvements by mitigating harmful air pollutants
• $13,269 per year in atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction
Understanding the important environmental and economic value that community trees provide will allow Wisconsin communities to improve management, advocate for future investment, build partnerships and address threats to ensure that residents receive environmental and economic services well into the future. Simply put, tree benefits increase as trees grow in size which emphasizes the need for sustainable planning, cooperation and participation by all to ensure that trees reach maturity and continue to enhance community livability.
Oshkosh residents can learn more about these studies and other regional and individual community tree canopy results at http://www.itreetools.org/resources/projects.php. In addition, they can see how they can help by visiting the Wisconsin DNR Urban and Community website. The analysis was conducted utilizing the i-Tree Streets & Canopy software developed by the USDA Forest Service. i-Tree is a state-of-art, peer-reviewed, free software suite designed to quantify community tree ecosystem services.