UF/IFAS: Florida urban tree canopy saves $4 billion a year

UF/IFAS: Florida urban tree canopy saves $4 billion a year

Researchers share that tree canopies not only provide shade and oxygen, but provide a host of financial benefits, too.

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Researchers from UF/IFAS have discovered that urban tree canopies have a range of benefits on cities, from providing oxygen and shade to effectively providing mass revenue to the state. Read the blog post below:

Trees give us shade to cool off and oxygen to breathe — and they provide Florida cities with $4 billion in benefits a year, collectively, UF/IFAS researchers say.

These include savings in air pollution removal, stormwater runoff and carbon sequestration and storage, said Andrew Koeser, UF/IFAS associate professor of environmental horticulture.

To reach their findings, UF/IFAS researchers surveyed tree canopies in Florida’s metropolitan and micropolitan areas, defined as distinct economic regions having one or more core cities. Florida has 29 such regions, spread out over 51 of its 67 counties. Scientists define tree canopy cover as the percent of a land area covered by leaves and branches when viewed from above.

“Florida is known for its natural resources and beauty, and its urban forests are the most direct connection to nature most of the state’s residents have,” Koeser said. “As such, this work is an important first step in monitoring and valuing some of the many things trees do to enhance our lives.”

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