by GH Donovan, DT Butry

Landscape and Urban Planning 94: 77-83


In the last 20 years, it has become increasingly difficult to determine the economic benefit of urban forestry. This paper assesses the effect of urban street trees on the housing market in Portland, Oregon. The authors examined and cataloged data for 3,479 single-family homes, while recording the number and characteristics of street trees that fronted each property. By employing the hedonic price method, time-on-market, and housing prices, the authors were able to distinguish which tree variables provide monetary benefits to neighborhoods. The results revealed that the number of street trees fronting a property and tree crown area, combined, add $8,870 to the sales price of a home, outweighing tree maintenance costs. Furthermore, the street trees also had a significant ($12,958 on average) financial benefit to other houses within 100ft. These findings confirm the benefits of urban forestry and provide justification for increased city and resident investment in street trees. With further research on the economic implications of tree population density in urban environments, it may be possible to prevent under-investment in street trees and allow cities to recoup substantial benefits from any investment made in urban forestry.

Region: Portland, Oregon
Publication Type: Journal article
Keywords: hedonic valuation, property values, street trees, tree canopy assessment, and urban forestry