Value of a DC Street Tree? $1,875

streettree.jpgOne of the great tenets of environmental accounting is finding dollar values for things that were previously overlooked. The classic question “What’s the value of a tree?” might be answered by many as “priceless”, but put into the context of an urban environment and the many services that the trees provide, it’s useful to find a way to add them up. Joel Makower points us to a fascinating study by the Casey Trees Endowment that tallied up an average value for the services provided by all the trees in the District of Columbia.
Among the services provided: Air pollution removal, carbon storage & sequestration, building energy-use savings, as well as structural and compensatory value. The total value of the roughly 2 million trees in the district? Over three and a half BILLION dollars.
Keep in mind that none of this accounting tries to get into the value of asthetics, mental health, and property values. So in reality the trees are worth a lot more.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.