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The Most Valuable Urban Tree Species

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Dr. David Nowak, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station

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The Most Valuable Urban Tree Species

  1. 1. The Most Valuable Urban Tree Species David J. Nowak US Forest Service Alexis Ellis Davey Tree
  2. 2. U.S. Urban Forest Diameter Distribution
  3. 3. Big Trees are Important 80% of tree population is < 12 inches in diameter 80% of biomass is in trees > 12 inches in diameter
  4. 4. Species Richness 26.3 = average species richness in eastern U.S. forests
  5. 5. Goal: Which species are the most valuable? Consider: Tree size Leaf area Life span
  6. 6. Basic Economics Pension example ($10,000/yr for 20 years)
  7. 7. Basic Economics Net Present Value (NPV) Money in the present is worth more than the same amount in the future due to inflation and to earnings from alternative investments that could be made during the intervening time
  8. 8. Critical Factors of Value Annual amount of payout Years remaining of payout Discount rate
  9. 9. Key Considerations Leaf area Size Amount of Payout Growth rate Life Span – Length of Payout
  10. 10. Trees Accumulate Value
  11. 11. Trees Accumulate Value
  12. 12. Trees Accumulate in NPV (up to a point)
  13. 13. Methods: Determine NPV of tree species Life span Short-lived: 3% mortality rate (34 years) Moderate-lived: 2% mortality rate (50 years) Long-lived: 1% mortality rate (87 years) Growth rate Open-grown Healthy Tree size Height at maturity
  14. 14. NPV Model Projections 498 species Annual leaf area and biomass over life span Transpiration and gas exchange Adjusted based on species xylem conduit analyses PM adjusted based leaf area and texture Ecosystem services and values (i-Tree) Carbon sequestration Interception/avoided runoff Air pollution removal New York City condition (2015) 3% discount rate
  15. 15. Conservative estimate Cooler air temperatures Social / Physiological benefits / Aesthetics Air pollution removal Avoided runoff Building energy conservation Carbon storage and sequestration Products / jobs UV radiation reduction Wildlife habitat Noise reduction …
  16. 16. Big Trees are Important Average effects (Graph: long-lived trees only; table: all trees) Size Avg Cumul $ NPV $ (yr 1) C storage (t) Avoid Runoff (gals) Poll Rem (lbs) Large >70 ft 4,246 1,042 1.4 58,017 88 Med 2,153 649 0.7 25,563 40 Small < 35 ft 520 202 0.3 11,537 13
  17. 17. Big Trees are Important Large trees (>70 ft at maturity) 8x more cumulative value than small trees 2x more cumulative value than medium trees 5x more NPV than small trees Medium trees (35-70 ft) 2x more cumulative value than small trees 1.6x more NPV than small trees
  18. 18. Life Span is Important Average effects – all trees Size Avg Cumul $ NPV $ (yr 1) C storage (t) Avoid Runoff (gals) Poll Rem (lbs) Long-lived 4,240 966 1.3 53,216 83 Moderate 1,383 562 0.6 22,629 31 Short-lived 614 331 0.3 10,824 14
  19. 19. Life Span is Important Long-lived (87 year life span) 7x more cumulative value than short-lived 3x more cumulative value than moderate-lived 3x more NPV than short-lived Moderate-lived trees (50 year life span) 2x more cumulative value than short-lived 1.7x more NPV than short-lived
  20. 20. Life Span is Important Sugar maple 200 year vs 10 year: 250x more cumulative value 25x more NPV at year 1
  21. 21. Size and Life-Span Combined Large, long-lived tree = best return
  22. 22. Size and Life-Span Combined Large, long-lived tree = best return Size Avg Cumul $ NPV $ C stor. (t) Avoid Runoff (gals) Poll Rem (lbs) Large, Long-lived 5,298 (19.7x) 1,179 (7.5x) 1.7 70,219 108 Med, Long-lived 3,460 (12.9x) 818 (5.2x) 1.0 34,521 58 Large, Mod-lived 1,813 (6.7x) 722 (4.6x) 0.9 30,975 42 Med, Mod-lived 1,426 (5.3x) 584 (3.7x) 0.5 21,568 31 Large, short-lived 1,304 (4.8x) 682 (4.3x) 0.7 18,732 27 Small, Long-lived 958 (3.6x) 277 (1.8x) 0.4 20,879 24 Med, short-lived 747 (2.8x) 399 (2.5x) 0.4 13,595 18 Small, Mod-lived 429 (1.6x) 188 (1.2x) 0.4 10,365 11 Small, short-lived 269 157 0.1 5,635 7 Values in parenthesis indicate relative value compared with small, short-lived trees
  23. 23. Young tree can be worth more than old tree NPV new tree > NPV of tree with 15-20 years of death Does not mean remove old tree However, may want to limit investments
  24. 24. Best Species 6 classes: <$501 cumulative value (15.1% of trees) $501-1,000 (17.3%) $1,001-$2,500 (28.9%) $2,501-5,000 (23.9%) $5,001-10,000 (11.8%) >10,000 (3.0%)
  25. 25. Lowest Rated Species (Class 6: <$500) Size Life Species Cumul $ NPV $ C (t) Avoid Runoff (gal) Poll Rem (lbs) S M Lagerstroemia indica $486 $207 1.2 7,046 8 M S Cupressus sempervirens $483 $266 0.3 1,586 4 M S Ailanthus altissima $449 $241 0.7 3,376 4 M S Robinia pseudoacacia $446 $243 0.3 6,513 8 S S Malus angustifolia $428 $230 0.5 10,094 11 M M Acer truncatum $410 $188 0.1 10,305 13 M M Acer japonicum $408 $187 0.1 10,305 13 M S Ostrya virginiana $405 $223 0.1 11,533 13 S S Acacia baileyana $373 $230 0.0 1,931 3 M M Oxydendrum arboreum $371 $173 0.1 14,815 15 M S Acer pensylvanicum $355 $197 0.1 7,201 9 S S Acer palmatum $347 $189 0.1 8,280 9 S S Prunus cerasifera $308 $180 0.1 11,111 11 S S Betula populifolia $292 $176 0.0 10,216 11 S S Prunus virginiana $265 $156 0.1 8,905 10 S L Magnolia stellata $242 $81 0.0 8,281 10 S S Cornus florida $230 $126 0.3 2,366 3 S S Crataegus laevigata $212 $125 0.1 7,449 7 S M Amelanchier canadensis $181 $90 0.0 8,258 7 S M Salix lutea $169 $85 0.0 6,237 6 S M Prunus serrulata $135 $67 0.1 4,255 4 S S Albizia julibrissin $126 $77 0.0 2,214 2 S S Cercis canadensis $117 $72 0.0 4,288 4 S M Rhus typhina $67 $34 0.0 1,378 1 S S Cotinus coggygria $38 $23 0.0 950 1
  26. 26. Class 5: $501-1,000 Size Life Species Cumul $ NPV $ C (t) Avoid Runoff (gal) Poll Rem (lbs) M S Acer negundo $973 $517 0.6 14,531 20 M M Corylus colurna $950 $402 0.6 16,970 20 L S Populus deltoides $949 $488 0.8 21,580 29 M M Tilia americana $917 $356 0.7 23,326 33 M M Alnus glutinosa $905 $412 0.2 21,152 25 M M Paulownia tomentosa $882 $381 0.7 28,271 27 M S Abies balsamea $870 $446 0.1 4,268 9 M S Salix nigra $869 $453 0.7 22,284 29 M M Morus alba $868 $371 1.0 21,943 29 M M Gleditsia triacanthos $849 $356 1.2 20,737 15 M S Acacia melanoxylon $818 $451 0.1 2,226 5 L L Catalpa speciosa $816 $225 0.9 18,593 16 M S Fraxinus pennsylvanica $809 $427 0.5 16,036 19 M S Ulmus pumila $793 $404 0.7 19,908 25 S M Lagerstroemia speciosa $784 $328 2.3 9,928 11 M M Tilia tomentosa $770 $302 0.5 11,226 15 M M Koelreuteria paniculata $726 $303 0.3 14,111 17 S L Crataegus mollis $685 $211 0.1 24,567 23 M S Jacaranda mimosifolia $672 $373 0.3 20,999 20 M L Pistacia chinensis $627 $163 2.5 2,506 3 M M Delonix regia $613 $266 0.3 4,884 6 S S Pyrus communis $585 $314 0.5 18,290 19 M M Melaleuca quinquenervia $583 $234 0.2 3,937 9 S L Cornus mas $577 $177 0.0 17,347 16 S L Juniperus communis $528 $171 0.0 3,053 6
  27. 27. Class 4: $1,001-2,500 Size Life Species Cumul $ NPV $ C (t) Avoid Runoff (gal) Poll Rem (lbs) L L Carya ovata $2,494 $566 0.8 74,807 86 L M Acer saccharinum $2,477 $988 1.6 51,908 65 L L Ginkgo biloba $2,451 $521 0.6 54,472 64 L M Betula papyrifera $2,438 $973 1.7 83,077 71 M M Magnolia acuminata $2,353 $969 2.1 54,775 77 L M Pinus resinosa $2,290 $904 0.8 18,075 34 L M Ulmus americana $2,273 $896 1.6 44,122 54 L M Liriodendron tulipifera $2,063 $837 0.9 38,362 61 M M Morus rubra $1,966 $806 1.2 48,620 56 M M Acer platanoides $1,943 $826 1.1 39,658 50 L M Prunus serotina $1,873 $776 2.0 49,749 59 L M Quercus palustris $1,638 $673 0.9 34,878 40 M M Pinus radiata $1,603 $625 0.9 17,556 32 M M Ulmus parvifolia $1,536 $645 1.2 35,017 42 M M Fagus sylvatica $1,519 $630 0.3 43,407 69 L M Nyssa sylvatica $1,376 $548 0.8 29,259 39 S L Crataegus phaenopyrum $1,322 $351 1.6 45,742 39 M M Sassafras albidum $1,318 $525 1.3 16,743 23 S M Malus sylvestris $1,294 $526 1.4 37,351 40 L M Celtis occidentalis $1,235 $516 0.1 20,616 33 L M Fraxinus americana $1,207 $481 1.1 29,018 33 M M Tilia cordata $1,095 $423 0.9 23,023 30 M M Sophora japonica $1,083 $457 0.3 31,970 33 L S Acer rubrum $1,057 $567 0.6 21,724 28 M M Sorbus americana $1,043 $444 0.3 29,695 34
  28. 28. Class 3: $2,501-5,000 Size Life Species Cumul $ NPV $ C (t) Avoid Runoff (gal) Poll Rem (lbs) L L Taxodium distichum $4,978 $1,189 3.9 90,359 121 L L Liquidambar styraciflua $4,744 $1,179 3.7 104,341 131 L L Aesculus hippocastanum $4,702 $1,234 1.4 129,524 152 M L Thuja plicata $4,590 $841 0.4 13,158 40 L L Quercus phellos $4,134 $970 3.3 85,149 113 L L Ulmus procera $4,098 $1,094 1.7 102,270 108 M L Thuja occidentalis $4,088 $789 1.0 12,679 36 L L Metasequoia glyptostroboides $4,033 $966 2.6 75,299 101 L S Casuarina cunninghamiana $4,018 $2,099 0.9 24,497 56 L M Pinus strobus $3,961 $1,510 1.0 24,064 50 L L Quercus robur $3,634 $941 1.0 79,427 94 M L Magnolia virginiana $3,508 $839 3.1 67,284 93 L M Pinus palustris $3,384 $1,311 0.9 19,884 37 L L Quercus rubra $3,365 $822 2.0 82,784 84 L L Acer saccharum $3,342 $773 2.1 62,162 79 L L Carya ovalis $3,182 $693 2.2 92,393 103 L L Larix decidua $3,134 $694 2.4 45,486 62 L M Pinus sylvestris $3,034 $1,176 1.1 38,904 69 M M Cinnamomum camphora $2,809 $1,185 0.9 35,865 71 L M Juglans nigra $2,791 $1,097 2.0 40,430 61 L L Zelkova serrata $2,749 $613 0.9 97,367 94 S L Malus domestica $2,746 $694 1.9 71,913 78 M M Picea abies $2,702 $1,008 0.3 11,983 30 L L Quercus alba $2,644 $562 1.4 65,121 67 M L Cupressus macrocarpa $2,548 $628 0.6 10,200 23
  29. 29. Class 2: $5,001-10,000 Size Life Species Cumul $ NPV $ C (t) Avoid Runoff (gal) Poll Rem (lbs) L L Magnolia grandiflora $9,523 $2,270 3.9 93,685 235 L L Pseudotsuga menziesii $9,190 $2,042 1.4 34,115 85 L L Picea engelmannii $9,064 $1,777 1.0 39,283 109 M L Tsuga heterophylla $9,056 $1,758 0.7 36,435 98 L L Abies procera $9,049 $2,184 2.9 51,521 123 L L Quercus ilex $8,684 $2,105 1.3 13,676 37 L L Sequoiadendron giganteum $8,346 $1,658 1.0 33,540 83 M L Quercus engelmannii $8,214 $2,155 0.5 19,180 50 M L Olea europaea $8,126 $1,958 0.4 68,967 152 L L Platanus hybrida $8,122 $1,833 3.7 262,798 286 L L Pinus elliottii $7,995 $2,007 0.9 59,900 99 M L Picea pungens $7,872 $1,589 1.0 24,371 70 M L Tsuga canadensis $7,369 $1,438 1.0 36,379 96 M L Quercus virginiana $7,250 $1,946 5.0 43,554 60 L L Araucaria araucana $7,056 $1,589 1.4 34,815 85 M L Chamaecyparis lawsoniana $7,015 $1,504 2.4 24,487 69 M L Cedrus deodara $6,575 $1,561 2.9 17,893 52 L L Abies concolor $5,967 $1,199 0.8 34,184 83 M L Cedrus atlantica $5,884 $1,273 2.2 20,969 59 M L Tilia platyphyllos $5,574 $1,196 3.1 144,502 172 L L Pinus densiflora $5,570 $1,317 0.5 33,735 66 L L Pinus ponderosa $5,523 $1,233 1.9 18,836 37 L L Quercus agrifolia $5,348 $1,179 1.2 19,813 47 M L Cedrus libani $5,088 $1,120 1.0 14,334 42 M L Ficus benjamina $5,049 $1,387 2.9 11,037 27
  30. 30. Class 1: $>10,000 Size Life Species Cumul $ NPV $ C (t) Avoid Runoff (gal) Poll Rem (lbs) L L Eucalyptus saligna $19,048 $3,598 2.1 164,692 315 L L Eucalyptus grandis $18,996 $3,406 2.1 414,688 765 L L Eucalyptus robusta $15,316 $2,965 1.8 43,745 96 L L Platanus occidentalis $12,582 $2,704 3.2 214,553 349 L L Sequoia sempervirens $12,212 $2,947 3.5 90,359 211 L L Picea rubens $12,088 $2,647 1.8 53,372 146 L L Quercus parvula $11,965 $2,721 2.4 166,766 335 L L Quercus tardifolia $11,965 $2,721 2.4 166,766 335 M L Brachychiton populneus $11,403 $2,604 5.9 181,453 316 L L Eucalyptus camaldulensis $11,368 $2,100 2.1 164,680 307 L L Abies alba $11,189 $2,489 1.6 45,486 112 L L Eucalyptus globulus $11,028 $2,082 2.1 144,757 250 L L Quercus geminata $10,713 $2,482 2.2 31,798 72 M L Tsuga mertensiana $10,594 $2,054 0.9 36,435 99 L L Lithocarpus densiflorus $10,549 $2,530 1.4 37,554 90
  31. 31. Limitations Physical traits, not social Aesthetics, invasiveness, exotics, social attachment Costs not considered Values are conservative
  32. 32. Conclusions Long-lived better than short-lived (7x difference) Large is better than small (8x difference) Best species Large or medium sized; long-lived Second best Large; moderate-lived or short-lived Conservative cumulative values Range: $38 (Coggygria) to $19,000 (Eucalyptus)
  33. 33. Thank you david.nowak@usda.gov

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