by DJ Nowak

Journal of Arboriculture 19(3):173-177


A number of approaches have been applied for determining the value of urban trees: ecosystem services valuation, hedonic valuation, etc. Here, the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA) formula (7th ed.) was used to estimate the compensatory value of the trees of Oakland, CA. The compensatory value indicates what should be paid as compensation for the loss of a tree. The formula incorporates the tree’s basal area (the cross-sectional area of the tree at 4.5’ aboveground), species, location, and condition. Input data were collected as part of an earlier study in which 5% of Oakland’s urban forest was sampled on the ground and tree canopy cover was determined by land use using aerial imagery. The CTLA formula was applied to the sampled trees and extrapolated to the entire forest based on land use. The total value of Oakland’s urban forest was estimated at $385.7 million dollars, and the value of the trees lost in the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 was calculated as $26.5 million.

Publication Type: Journal article
Keywords: compensatory valuation, economics, field study, urban forestry, and valuation