Urban Forests: Understanding Associated Costs

Park in SC

A community receives many benefits from the urban forest; however, there are also costs associated with having a healthy urban forest. Estimates for tree costs in the U.S. range from $12.87 to $65 per tree (McPherson et al. 2005). Working towards the common goal of managing the urban forest to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs helps communities grow and develop while maintaining a healthy environment for current and future generations. A healthy urban forest requires a community investment.

Urban Tree Planting (Part 1): Site Selection


Site selection is the first, important step to make when planting trees in an urban environment. Quality sites have a higher probability of supporting long-lived and healthy trees, whereas poorly chosen sites produce poorer-quality trees. Urban environments are challenging for tree survival. They often contain soil contaminants, air pollution, high velocity wind, compacted and poorly aerated soil, higher temperatures, altered soil drainage, and small planting areas. Considering these challenges, choosing the best site for planting is critical for optimal growth …