We've known it all along, but now there's a study which proves it -- as reported by the Toronto Star in their Business Section by Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew this passed Monday:

Toronto’s trees worth about $700 each, says TD Economics

Toronto’s urban forest isn’t just pretty -- it’s a “critical factor” in the environment, human health and quality of life, TD Economics says in a report

TBP Tree 304 Red Green Ash Octo 2013

A small excerpt:

The report pegs the replacement value, what it would cost to remove a tree and replant a similar one, at over $700 billion, or about $700 per tree.

Urban forests help ease the burden of managing snow and rain by intercepting precipitation, increasing the amount of water absorbed in the ground and reducing soil erosion, the report said.

This wet-weather flow reduction saves the city about $50 million each year, the report said.

Trees also produce oxygen, absorb air pollution, and capture dust, ash, dirt and pollen in their canopies.

Toronto’s urban forest removes about one-quarter of the emissions produced by industry within the city – about 19,000 metric tons of air pollution removed from the atmosphere annually.

That means the urban forest pulls out the particulate matter equivalent to what’s released by over 1 million automobiles each year, TD said.

Greenery also lowers energy demand for cooling and heating – which means savings for households and businesses. The net cooling effect of a young healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditions operating 20 hours a day, the report said.

Toronto’s urban forest is comprised of approximately 10 million trees, shrubs, and other flora and fauna that line the streets, parks, and ravines of the city. It includes at least 116 different species, the report said.

Not all trees are created equal, and the benefits they provide vary, depending on size and species, the report said.

“But as a general rule of thumb, we can say bigger is better. Large, healthy trees absorb up to 10 times more air pollutants, 90 times more carbon, and contribute up to 100 times more leaf area to our urban forest canopy relative to smaller trees,” the report said.

And all of us in the AAT program are helping along that investment.  Stand tall, stand proud -- good on us!

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