Why Trees Matter: Facts for Decision Makers
“Because they have such a powerful impact on walkability, street trees have been associated with significant improvements in both property values and retail viability. Since this enhancement translates directly into increased local tax revenue, it could be considered financially irresponsible for a community to not invest heavily in trees.” –Jeff Speck, Walkable City (pp. 223-24)
Trees Help Businesses Thrive
- Shoppers spend up to 12% more when shopping in retail settings with trees.4
- Shoppers will travel farther to visit a shopping district with high quality trees, and will spend more time there once they arrive.5
- Visitors to central business districts with shade trees will spend 9 to 12 percent more for products than they would in areas without trees.6
Trees Make Properties More Desirable
Mature trees increase house prices by as much as 9 percent – essentially a $3,400 premium on a standard house.4
Homes located next to vacant land decreases neighborhood values by 18%, while tree plantings increase values by 14%!4
New tree plantings increase surrounding housing values by approximately 10%.4
Minneapolis street trees were found to add $7.1 million to property values in that city.
Commercial offices with trees and high quality landscaping command 7% higher rental rates.1
In one year, Cedar Rapids street trees increase total property values by an estimated $1.3 million!3
Trees Make Our Neighborhoods and Streets Safer
- Apartment buildings with trees and other landscaping had 52% fewer total crimes, 48% fewer property crimes, and 56% fewer violent crimes than buildings with minimal or no vegetation.4
- Trees, shrubs and other vegetation planted in road right of way reduce vehicular speeds and have other positive effects on driver behavior and perception.2
Download a printable pdf of this fact sheet below.
References for Various Tree Benefit Studies
1 Laverne, Robert J., and Kimberly Winson-Geideman. "The Influence of Trees and Landscaping on Rental Rates at Office Buildings." Journal of Arboriculture 29.5 (2003): 281-90. Web. http://www.skyhorsestation.com/pdf/article_trees_cmrcialbldgs.pdf.
2 Mok, Jeong-Hun, Harlow C. Landphair, and Jody R. Naderi. "Landscape Improvement Impacts on Roadside Safety in Texas." Landscape and Urban Planning 78.3 (2006): 263-74. Web. http://www.naturewithin.info/Roadside/RdsdSftyTexas_L&UP.pdf.
3 Trees Forever Website, i-Tree Data, Web http://www.treesforever.org/Content/Affiliate-Resources/Programs/Our-Woodland-Legacy.aspx
4 Wachter, Susan. The Determinants of Neighborhood Transformations in Philadelphia Identification and Analysis: The New Kensington Pilot Study. Rep. Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, 2005. Web. http://www.kabaffiliates.org/uploadedFiles/KAB_Affiliates.org/Wharton%20Study%20NK%20final.pdf.
5 Wolf, Kathleen L. "Business District Streetscapes, Trees and Consumer Response." Journal of Forestry 103.8 (2005): 396-400. Web. http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/journals/pnw_2005_wolf001.pdf.
6 Wolf, Kathleen L. "Roadside Urban Trees, Balancing Safety and Community Values." Arborist News Dec. 2006: 56-57. Web. http://www.naturewithin.info/Roadside/ArbNews_TreeSafety.pdf.