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Benefits of the Urban Forest

Urban Forest

The City of Fort Collins is a special place in which to live, work and recreate.  One of the amenities that makes our city so special is our extensive urban forest made up of shade trees on public and private land.

These trees provide us with many ecological, economic, aesthetic, and psychological benefits.  They:

  • Conserve energy by shading our homes and paved surfaces
  • Clean and purify our air by absorbing atmospheric pollutants like ozone, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide
  • Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Reduce stormwater runoff and soil erosion
  • Filter and purify groundwater by directly absorbing pollutants
  • Provide valuable wildlife habitat and corridors
  • Increase real estate values & improve economic sustainability
  • Act as very effective wind breaks, screen unsightly urban infrastructure, reduce noise, and provide privacy
  • Strengthen our communities and reduce crime & physical violence  

What could the typical homeowner expect to lose if a large prominent shade tree dies as a result of drought, disease or insect infestation?  Initially, the homeowner could experience:

  • A loss of 5-8% of residential property value (depending on species, maturity, quantity, and location of trees)
  • A loss of shade that may result in increased daytime air conditioning costs of up to 58%
  • Tree removal costs of $1,000 or more for a large shade tree

Quite simply, the trees that make up our urban forest contribute significantly to the general health and well-being of the City's residents.

The Colorado Tree Coalition has developed an extensive summary regarding the many benefits of the urban forest.  Please visit their website and click on the Tree Benefits link.