Economic benefits of trees

  • It is no coincidence that some of the areas of highest property value in the city are associated with ravines and other treed green spaces. Research has shown that appraised property values of homes that are adjacent to parks and open spaces are typically higher than those of comparable properties elsewhere.
  • The benefits of trees in commercial areas are also well-documented. For example, in one study rental rates of commercial office properties were about 7% higher on sites having a quality landscape, which included trees. Other studies show that people are more likely to support local businesses in shopping districts with more street trees.
  • Trees that are at least 6 m tall and within 18 m of a residential or small building provide direct energy savings by reducing cooling costs in the summer as well as reducing heating costs in the winter (particularly coniferous trees). These savings are linked to shading, windbreak effects, and local microclimate moderation.
  • Trees, if properly maintained, can help support the function and extend the life of “grey infrastructure” (such as sidewalks and roads) in urban areas.

The urban tree canopy represents a tremendously valuable resource to the city and the people who live, work and play in it. The structural value of the the urban tree canopy is approximately $7 billion, while the ecological services it provides to the city in terms of air pollution filtration and temperature moderation are estimated at over $28.2 million.

City trees and urban tree canopy can increase property values, reduce heating and energy use, and improve air quality. A 2014 report by TD economists confirmed that Toronto’s 10.3 million trees represent $80 million in environmental services and infrastructure cost benefits.

A Toronto-based study shows that having even 10 more trees on your block is tantamount, in terms of health perception, to a $10,000 deposit in your bank account.

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