A recent project has revealed the true value of urban trees in the UK county of Wrexham. This first study of its kind in Wales showed that the services and benefits provided by trees to the community is worth more than £1.2 million every year.
With urban space at a premium and competition for municipal resources intense, it’s extremely important for local authorities to be able to quantify the value of green infrastructure that trees provide. Forest research company Treeconomics carried out a study for Wrexham County and Natural Resources Wales using i-Tree Eco, a system for evaluating urban trees, developed by the US Forest Service and the Davey Tree Expert Company.
The project used tree and land-use information collected from over 200 plots across Wrexham County to provide quantitative estimates of improvements to air quality, as well as carbon capture and storage, afforded by the area’s trees.
The annual financial benefits for Wrexham were found to be a consequence of trees:
- Intercepting 278 million litres of rainfall which otherwise would have entered the drainage system, translating to a saving of £460,000 in sewerage charges;
- Absorbing 1,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere;
- Removing 60 tonnes of air pollution, which improves people’s health and is estimated to save the health service £700,000.