The Costs of Planting and Maintaining Trees in California

Sacramento, CA (February 4, 2009)- The State of California’s Economist recently looked into how many jobs would be created by planting 6 million urban trees. The analysis also factoring in all component costs. They found that a total of about 9,750 jobs would be created in an effort to maintain 6 million trees by 2020.

This estimate does not include planting efforts or cost benefits the tree provides. It is assumed that each of the 6 million trees have maintenance service every 6 years, and dead trees are removed and replaced in the 40-year tree lifecycle. The estimate is based on various source data that was chosen in the attempt to represent real tree maintenance efforts.
They estimate that approximately 75% of the cost of pruning, removal/disposal, irrigation, clean-up, and administration were labor costs based on $40/hour for pruning and ground-keeping type activities and $64/hour for administration, legal, and infrastructure repair activities. These labor intensive activities would include the cost of maintenance ground crews, as well as, costs associated with water delivery to establish new trees. Maintenance administration functions, such as scheduling and coordination of maintenance activities, and crew dispatch costs are also counted at a 75% labor value. Less labor intensive activities such as, infrastructure, pest control, and liability are counted as 50% labor cost value.
Other findings include:
* 10.1 maintenance hours per tree.
* 5,050 new workers would be required to maintain 6 million trees.
* $567.74 total cost per tree.
Related Resources:
Jobs Created by Planting 6 Million Trees
Planting Costs of Planting 6 Million Trees