The USDA assesses the value of a tree based on many factors. There are the ecological purposes of a tree, such as the amount of carbon dioxide it sequesters and its stormwater management. There are also the structural and aesthetic components, as well. It takes about 15 years for a tree to reach its peak, where it can bring the most value to the community. As it matures, the property values of the areas surrounding it, also rise, increasing the tree’s benefits. “The urban forest is different from a traditional forest in a lot of ways,” said Faber. The life expectancy of a tree living in a downtown environment is about seven years, nearly half the time it takes a tree living in a different environment to mature. There are many different factors in an urban forest, such as confined growing space, extra heat from buildings, and road traffic. As a result, the community is unable to experience the full, matured benefits of urban trees, when compared to trees in a traditional forest.
To listen to this week’s episode, click here.
“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life. Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.