NASHVILLE - Tennessee’s urban forests, currently valued at about $80 billion, also provide almost $650 million in benefits such as carbon storage, pollution removal, and energy reduction according to a new U.S. Forest Service report.
The authors of Urban Forests of Tennessee, 2009 found there are 284 million trees in urban areas in the state, with canopies covering 33.7 percent of 1.6 million acres of urban area. Those urban forests provide an estimated $204 million per year in pollution removal and $66 million per year in energy savings. The study is the first of its kind in Tennessee.
“This report, for the first time, puts a face on the urban forest resource and what it means to the state in terms of economic and environmental value, ” said Steven Scott, Tennessee State Forester and head of the Tennessee Division of Forestry, which collected the data for the report. “Perhaps the most significant finding is the immediate impact of urban trees on the use of energy, the savings we get as a result of shade near homes, businesses and industrial areas.”