Growth Rings

U.S. cities are losing 4 million trees a year

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm
Feb. 4, 2012 - Piedmont/Woodlawn planting

One of 240 trees planted in two Portland neighborhoods on February 4 (Sarah Outlaw)

This sobering article by Eric Jaffe in The Atlantic Cities underscores the importance of planting trees.

Below is an excerpt from the story:

Trees can do a lot for a city. From an environmental perspective, they improve air quality and also reduce temperatures, leading to lower energy consumption. From an economic one, they’ve been tied to increased property value, particularly in highly walkable neighborhoods. From a psychological view, urban trees even have an incredible restorative effect on our attention.

But cities aren’t doing much for their trees in return. In fact, urban America is losing tree cover at a steady rate, according to a study published in the latest issue of the journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. Using aerial photographs to compare changes over time in 20 major U.S. cities, researchers David Nowak and Eric Greenfield of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service found that tree coverage is on the decline, while impervious cover — roads, buildings, sidewalks, and the like — is on the rise.

News of this loss makes us grateful for the thousands of volunteers who plant with us each year and for all of our supporters. This Saturday we’ll host our biggest neighborhood planting to date. More than 700 trees will be added to five North Portland neighborhoods. Please join us by 8:45 am to help us plant!

We’re also planting in Forest Park and Happy Valley Park, and hosting a pruning workshop in Eugene. Our planting partners this weekend are Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, the City of Happy Valley, Portland Parks & Recreation, and Willamalane Park and Recreation District. Our planting sponsors are Recology and Hi-Tec Sports.



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