Sidebar: The Dollar Value of Trees


In the last decade, researchers have found a way to put a dollar amount on some of the benefits trees give us, through a program called i-Tree.

i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the US Forest Service that helps urban foresters assess and quantify various components of their tree population. i-Tree takes details from existing inventories and quickly produces a cost-benefit analysis of the trees to the community.((iTree: Tools for Assessing and Managing Forests & Community Trees, https://www.itreetools. org/ )) In 2006, the City of Portland used iTree to perform a comprehensive analysis of the structure and function of the city’s trees, and to assign an economic value to the benefits they provide.

The iTree analysis demonstrated that for every dollar invested in the public tree asset, Portland enjoys three dollars and eighty cents in benefits.((Angie DiSalvo, Julie Fukuda, and Jeff Ramsey, “Street Tree Inventory Report: City of Portland” (April 2017).)) According to the City of Portland’s tree inventory, the city’s street trees produce an estimated $28.6 million annually in environmental and aesthetic benefits.((DiSalvo, “Street Tree Inventory.”))