What Trees Add to San Jose's Bottom Line
New technology is allowing researchers to put a price tag on the trees that grow in California cities. A new survey of San Jose’s trees could be a model for the state’s other urban forests.
Remote sensing and modeling has improved significantly in recent years, allowing researchers to more accurately map the trees. Principal researcher Greg McPherson, with the U.S. Forest Service says it also lets them quantify stored carbon, energy savings and other benefits trees provide.
"I feel like trees are priceless," says McPherson, "But in our society money talks. And being able to quantify the monetary value of these services put trees on a more level playing with other types of infrastructure that we’re investing in."
Researchers calculated the asset value of San Jose’s trees at $5.7 billion. .