By David J. Nowak, Allison R. Bodine, Robert E. Hoehn, III, Daniel E. Crane, Alexis Ellis, Theodore A. Endreny, Yang Yang, Tom Jacobs, Kassie Shelton
Newtown Square, PA (March 4, 2013) – An analysis of trees in the greater Kansas City region of Missouri and Kansas reveals that this area has about 249,450,000 trees with tree and shrub canopy that covers 28.3 percent of the region. The most common tree species are American elm, northern hackberry, Osage-orange, honeylocust, and eastern redcedar. Trees in the greater Kansas City region currently store about 19.9 million tons of carbon (72.8 million tons CO2) valued at $411 million.
In addition, these trees remove about 1.0 million tons of carbon per year (3.7 million tons CO2 per year valued at $20.7 million per year) and about 26,000 tons of air pollution per year ($198.3 million per year). The greater Kansas City region’s trees are estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $14.0 million per year. The compensatory value of the trees is estimated at $93.4 billion.
Loss of the current tree cover in the Blue River watershed of the greater Kansas City region would increase total flow over a 6.5-month period by an average of 2.3 percent (63.4 million ft3). Information on the structure and functions of the urban forest can be used to inform urban forest management programs and to integrate urban forests within plans to improve environmental quality in the greater Kansas City region