From: USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Published December 5, 2017 09:42 AM

Despite city tree benefits, Calif. urban canopy cover per capita lowest in U.S.

Trees in California communities are working overtime. From removing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, intercepting rainfall and increasing property values, California's 173.2 million city trees provide ecosystem services valued at $8.3 billion a year. However, according to a recent study, more benefits could be realized if the Golden State's urban forests didn't have the lowest canopy cover per capita in the nation.

"The structure, function and value of urban forests in California communities," recently published online in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, reports that California's 109 square yards of city tree canopy per person lags behind other urban canopy-poor states, such as Nevada (110), Wyoming (146) and Montana (148). And there's no comparison with well-treed states, such as New Hampshire (1,514), Connecticut (1,214) or Alabama (1,182).

"There's no question that Californians are deriving significant benefits from their urban forests," said Greg McPherson, lead author of the study and a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station. "However, the fact remains that more can be done and will need to be done in light of the recent tree mortality epidemics plaguing some of our urban forests."

Read more at USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station

Image: Despite the benefits of city trees, California has the lowest urban canopy cover per capita in the United States, with room to accommodate an estimated 236 million more plantings. (Image Credit: U.S. Forest Service).

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