Assessing Urban Forest Effects and Values: Morgantown’s Urban Forest

By David J. Nowak, Robert E. Hoehn III, Daniel E. Crane, Jack C. Stevens, Jonathan Cumming, Sandhya Mohen, Anne Buckelew Cumming

Newtown Square, PA (December 27, 2012) – An analysis of the community forest in Morgantown, WV, was undertaken in 2004 to characterize the structural and functional attributes of this forest resource. The assessment revealed that this city has about 658,000 trees with canopies that cover 35.5 percent of the area. The most common tree species are sugar maple, black cherry, and hawthorn. The urban forest currently stores about 93,000 tons of carbon valued at $1.9 million.

In addition, these trees remove about 2,900 tons of carbon per year ($60,000 per year), with trees and shrubs removing about 104 tons of air pollution per year ($711,000 per year). Trees in Morgantown are estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $380,000 per year. The structural, or compensatory, value is estimated at $488 million.

Information on the structure and functions of the urban forest can be used to improve and augment support for urban forest management programs and to integrate urban forests within plans to improve environmental quality in the Morgantown, WV area.

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Assessing Urban Forest Effects and Values: Morgantown’s Urban Forest