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tree benefits - tree benefit calculator  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Location: Missoula, MT
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In permaculture, we are VERY interested in trees, and trees in our systems.

We've got the man who planted trees as an example of restoring a landscape *and* water.

I'm sure there are more examples around permies, too.

And now, there is a national tree benefits calculator.

http://www.treebenefits.com/calculator/

Understanding This Tool:

The Tree Benefit Calculator allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits individual street-side trees provide. This tool is based on i-Tree’s street tree assessment tool called STREETS. With inputs of location, species and tree size, users will get an understanding of the environmental and economic value trees provide on an annual basis.

The Tree Benefit Calculator is intended to be simple and accessible. As such, this tool should be considered a starting point for understanding trees’ value in the community, rather than a scientific accounting of precise values. For more detailed information on urban and community forest assessments, visit the i-Tree website.

So, at the treebenefits.com/calculator, you put in your zip code or region, put in your tree, size of its trunk, and type or property, and the calculator returns with dollar values assigned to these categories:
  • stormwater
  • electricity
  • air quality
  • property value
  • natural gas
  • CO2


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    National Tree Benefit Calculator - apple tree, residential property, north region
     
    Miles Flansburg
    steward
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    Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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    That is so cool ! I have lots of aspen on my ten acres so I plugged in an average 8 inch aspen and wow my whole forest is saving millions !
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
    master steward
    Posts: 4097
    Location: Missoula, MT
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    books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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    Miles Flansburg wrote:That is so cool ! I have lots of aspen on my ten acres so I plugged in an average 8 inch aspen and wow my whole forest is saving millions !


    Neat! So. much. good. with all those aspen!

    I'm thinking this tool could be really useful for designers, or students, or those seeking grants, etc.

    In the past, King County (the county that Seattle, Washington is in), required (and maybe still requires?) a minimum amount of street trees in all new developments. It's so smart in so many ways, and yet a landscape architect I was working with talked about the challenges for the root systems of street trees. She said it's like they are planted in bathtubs.

    I like that municipalities are recognizing the benefits of trees. And, I look forward to how the knowledge around that - benefits and challenges - keeps increasing and the challenges are mitigated in more and more ways.

     
    Regan Dixon
    Posts: 133
    Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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    You realize that you just "made me" plug in every tree on the property. 
    I find it an odd concept to put a dollar value on the services provided by trees, but in that context, it's interesting that the trees that are valued the highest, are the wild ones of least direct value to me as a hungry human; and the ones that I bought to give fruit, have least value.  Note to Paul, though:  I do feel somewhat vindicated for honouring the granddaddy Doug firs on the property.  Mind you, I am grateful to any tree that sees fit to grow here, and do not value them less (though the survey seems to) for growing in "unused space", surrounded by forest.
    Yay trees!
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
    master steward
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    Location: Missoula, MT
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    Regan Dixon wrote:You realize that you just "made me" plug in every tree on the property. 
    I find it an odd concept to put a dollar value on the services provided by trees, but in that context, it's interesting that the trees that are valued the highest, are the wild ones of least direct value to me as a hungry human; and the ones that I bought to give fruit, have least value.  Note to Paul, though:  I do feel somewhat vindicated for honouring the granddaddy Doug firs on the property.  Mind you, I am grateful to any tree that sees fit to grow here, and do not value them less (though the survey seems to) for growing in "unused space", surrounded by forest.
    Yay trees!


    Haha! Thanks for the chuckle, Regan!

    Yes, I agree that it is odd to put a dollar value on trees, yet I think that works to convince, encourage, advocate, (and on and on) planting more trees in broader, more conventional, and yes, even more money-driven circles.

    I did not play with it as much as you did to notice that wild versus fruit-bearing valuation. Verrrry interesting, indeed!

    Cool to see people enjoying and discussing this!

     
    Ian Rule
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    Location: Nevada County, CA
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    Incredible! Its this sort of toolery that slips under "conventional" radar and lets us plant ideas in otherwise hostile brains

    Green leaves, green dollars, we all have our goals!
     
    Travis Johnson
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    I have always put a value on trees, but then we are part of the American Tree Farm System and Forest Stewardship Council so that is nothing new. As my wife said, she never realized money really does grow on trees.

    I am not as excited as everyone else in this because I feel it may give the wrong impression, that every tree is worth saving on account of X-amount of factors, when it really is not true. While scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air and carbon regeneration has its value, the truth is proper forestry accounts for that. My farm is living proof as my family has have here for 9 generations and have selectively logged for 285 years. It shows too. Where I selectively harvested trees in 1994, I am now removing logs some 3-4 feet thick. Teeming with red heart and shake, they were no long for this world and removing them is the best use of resources.

    Now part of this equation is that this is Maine and we are the most heavily forested state in the nation so there is no shortage of trees here, and the land mass consists of 90% forest and only 10% open land, but the trend I see is people refusing to harvest wood thinking erroneously that they are doing what is best for their forests. That is not true at all, even Paul Wheaton acknowledges that thinning forests to build structures eco-friendly is prudent in all respects. And I also propose that I have probably planted more trees than anyone else on here...a pretty big statement, but when you calculate in the number of bare-root stock, and plug trees I have physically inserted into the ground with a tree spade, and the millions more that I planted by opening up the canopy and scouring the ground through logging, its most likely true. I LOVE TREES.

    This web site just makes it harder to show others that there is a middle ground, that logging can be done prudently that returns minerals and vitality back to the soil, and yet also provide income as well general well being. 90% of my home, stone and wood alike was derived from this farm. There is a certain satisfaction in that, and that leaving trees to tip over and die does not take into account. If trees lived forever, well we would be having a different conversation.

     
    Regan Dixon
    Posts: 133
    Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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    Not denying anything you've said, Travis; though I think that this tool is aimed at urban/suburban dwellers.  In far too many new developments I've seen, the scrub alder and cottonwoods have been razed, and one or two token, well-mannered "boulevard trees" planted, and then there's nothing but a sea of roofs with no relief.  Even in the rain belt, that is way too much heat and light being reflected; no shade nor shelter nor arboreal air conditioning is offered.  If the tool convinces some home owners to get wild and plant even something tidy and trim, because they feel it will increase the value of their property (and that seems to be a prime consideration in the pie charts), I believe it would in fact prove to be the case.
     
    Tyler Ludens
    pollinator
    Posts: 9715
    Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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    Regan Dixon wrote: In far too many new developments I've seen, the scrub alder and cottonwoods have been razed, and one or two token, well-mannered "boulevard trees" planted, and then there's nothing but a sea of roofs with no relief.


    In my region people like to remove everything but the Oaks, calling other beautiful trees such as Hackberries (beloved by birds) "trash trees."  Then the Oaks die of wilt and the place is completely bald.

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