What is a Tree Worth?

You love it for the shade it gives, the way the fall color matches your front door, the limb that perfectly supports your baby’s swing.

but what is it really worth?

Location: Suburban Chicago, Illinois

Species: Swamp White Oak

Tree condition: Good (Healthy)

Trunk Diameter: 25 inches

Sun exposure: Full sun

Value: US$215 per year

(Calculations courtesy of the Tree BenefitCalculator at treebenefits.org)


By intercepting approximately 3,336 gallons of storm water per year, raising the property value by US$38 a year (if planted in the front yard), conserving 302 kilowatt hours of electricity for cooling, reducing consumption of oil or natural gas by 45 therms, and reducing atmospheric carbon by 907 pounds.

And you thought it was just for the shade.

Read tips on planting trees in your areas now.

the value of trees

Trees Make Communities Healthier.

Children who live in neighborhoods with more street trees are less likely to have asthma. People who live in areas with plenty of greenery are less likely to be overweight or obese.

Trees Clean the Air We Breathe.

Urban trees capture fine particles from the air as well as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous dioxide and other pollutants. Scientists estimate the value of this pollution reduction in the U.S. at US$7 billion a year.

Trees Save Energy.

Trees shade buildings to reduce the need for air conditioning. Evergreens that block winter winds can save on heating.

Trees Shelter and Feed Wildlife.

Birds and other wildlife live and find food in trees. The flowers of trees provide pollen and nectar to feed bees and other insects we depend upon to pollinate plants in our gardens and farms.

Trees Naturally Manage Storm Water.

Trees collect rain on their leaves and channel heavy rainwater to the soil. Together a community’s trees reduce the water that flows into storm sewers. The USDA Forest Service estimates 100 mature trees intercept about 250,000 gallons of rainfall per year.

Trees Increase Property Values.

Homes in neighborhoods with mature trees sell for 3.5 to 10 percent more than the neighborhoods without trees.


Courtesy of the Morton Arboretum, a 1,700-acre living museum in Illinois, dedicated to the scientific study, conservation, education, and outreach on behalf of trees.