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Urban Tree Canopy Findings

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Urban Tree Canopy Increases Providing Many Community Benefits

Recently released data indicates that the city's Urban Tree Canopy has increased from 32 percent to 48 percent since 1997. A comprehensive study was completed by the Virginia Department of Forestry, University of Vermont, Virginia Tech, and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission. Trees provide many benefits to the Roanoke community, including:
  • Removing 304 tons of air polluntants each year, for a total annual value fo $2,270,000
  • Providing an annual energy benefit of $511,000
  • Increasing property values by $913,127 (this statistic is for street trees only)
  • Providing an annual stormwater benefit of street trees of $1,022,236
  • Providing a benefit-cost ratio of street trees of 6.61 to 1
In addition, the National Arbor Day Foundation reports that "it has been conservatively estimated that over $1.5 billion per year is generated in tax revenue for communities in the U.S. due to the value of privately-owned trees on residential property." Roanoke's comprehensive plan, Vision 2001-2020, states that "maintaining and increasing the city's tree canopy will have a beneficial impact on air quality, stormwater control, noise levels, temperature and visual appearance." Dan Henry, Roanoke Urban Forester, says "tree canopy plays an important role in Roanoke's popular and growing greenway and outdoor tourism movement."