AUSTIN, TX – The U.S. Forest Service published the first-ever urban forest assessment—citing the composition and health of the Austin, Texas urban forest, the benefits it provides, and documenting the contributions trees make to the environment, economy and the well-being of the community’s residents.
Texas A&M Forest Service conducted the field work for the assessment, coordinated with the USFS on data analysis and helped write the report. In addition to the assessment, a survey of urban landowners is being conducted regarding opinions on issues concerning trees in urban areas. Texas A&M Forest Service also will soon launch an online application called My City’s Trees on TexasForestInfo.com that will enable users to access and explore information on Austin’s urban forest.
An analysis of the Austin urban forest reveals:
- The area has an estimated 33.8 million trees with tree canopy that covers more than 30 percent of the city.
- The most common tree species are Ashe juniper, cedar elm, live oak, sugarberry and Texas persimmon.
- Trees in Austin currently store about 1.9 million tons of carbon (7 million tons of carbon dioxide [CO2]); valued at $242.0 million.
- Austin trees remove about 92,000 tons of carbon per year (336,000 tons CO2/year) valued at $11.6 million.
- Austin trees remove about 1,253 tons of air pollution per year valued at $2.8 million.
- Austin's urban forest reduces annual residential energy costs by nearly $19 million per year.
- It would cost an estimated $16.0 billion to replace all the trees in Austin.
- The information presented in this report can be used to improve and support urban forest management programs and inform policy and planning for improvements to environmental quality and human health in Austin.
- The analysis provides a basis for monitoring changes in the urban forest over time.
Original post by U.S. Forest Service Research & Development
Austin’s Urban Forest: First urban forest inventory of Austin, Texas, reveals the benefits of the city's trees http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/compass/2016/03/10/austins-urban-forest/