The Environmental Benefits of Lethbridge Trees
Trees throughout the City provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including energy savings, carbon sequestration, storm water interception and improved air quality and property values.
City of Lethbridge. (2011). The Environmental Benefits of Lethbridge Trees: Press Release. Lethbridge, Alberta: Author.
The City of Lethbridge has an urban forest of more than 38,000 public trees, excluding trees located in natural stands in the river valley and on private property. Our urban forest consists of more than 80 species, with Green Ash, American Elm, White Poplar and Spruce being the most common. The urban forest consists of an almost equal number of street trees and park trees.
The trees in Lethbridge’s urban forest alone capture over 8.4 million kilograms of carbon dioxide per year. When considering the distance an average car owner drives per year, our public trees are capturing the annual CO2 emissions of more than 1,600 cars throughout the city!
In economic terms, the net benefit of the urban forest to the City is over 3.9 million dollars annually. This number takes into account the environmental cost savings provided by each tree, as well as the associated costs of maintaining the forest, such as tree planting, pruning, and pest management. On a per tree basis, the net dollar value is more than $100 per tree.
The benefits we receive from public trees can also be of value to homeowners. Properly planted yard trees can provide the same environmental benefits to homeowners as the public trees do for the City. Studies have shown that home sale prices increase by 1% for every mature front yard tree.