Portland, OR (November 20, 2007)- The figures are impressive. It would cost at least $5 billion to replace Portland’s trees. Meanwhile, by trapping rainwater on their leaves and keeping it from carrying pollutants down drains and into streams, Portland trees save the city $11 million in storm water management costs each year.
That’s not all they do. Each year the trees capture 25 million pounds of pollutants on their leaves. By providing shade in summer and windbreaks in winter, they reduce our energy use, meaning less natural gas and electricity is generated and less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. And of course, the same trees capture carbon dioxide directly as they grow. They do double-duty in slowing climate change.
A study released last month, conducted by City Nature Urban Forestry Division of Portland Parks & Recreation, revealed that Portland has 1.2 million trees in city parks and natural areas-most of the 41 species are Big Leaf Maples-and 236,000 trees on city streets, with Norway Maples making nine percent of the 171 species. The study concludes that for every one dollar the city spends on its trees, city residents receive $3.80 worth of benefits. That’s an impressive return on an investment.
Friends of Trees
Portland Urban Forest Canopy Report 2007