Tennessee’s Urban Forests Valued in the Billions

Overton Park | Memphis, Tennessee | Image Credit: Flickr User: duluoz-cats

Tennessee’s urban forests, currently valued at about $80 billion, also provide almost $650 million in benefits such as carbon storage, pollution removal, and energy reduction according to a new U.S. Forest Service report.

The authors of Urban Forests of Tennessee, 2009 (published in early 2012) found there are 284 million trees in urban areas in the state, with canopies covering 33.7 percent of 1.6 million acres of urban area. Those urban forests provide an estimated $204 million per year in pollution removal and $66 million per year in energy savings. The study is the first of its kind in Tennessee.

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Jinzhou World Landscape Art Exposition | Jinzhou China | estudioOCA

Jinzhou World Landscape Art Exposition | Jinzhou China | estudioOCA
We envision this project as an opportunity to reach a large number of people, where we are able to showcase the use of native plants in a region and country that has been going through extensive ecological changes in a short period of time. We hope to bring a fresh perspective to these plants and their original habitats, using the pavilion space to showcase, through graphic materials, the different ecosystems where the plants originate. The plant palette will consist of native grasses, wetland plants such as cattails, and native trees.
Continue reading Jinzhou World Landscape Art Exposition | Jinzhou China | estudioOCA

As Ash Borer Claims More Trees, Researcher Works For Species Survival

Science Daily reports

As the devastating insect emerald ash borer is working its way across North America destroying almost all the native ash trees it encounters, Widrlechner is rapidly collecting and storing ash tree seeds.

Like the legendary Appleseed who planted apple trees across the country, Widrlechner’s seed stocks can serve as a national source for reintroducing ash trees once the devastation can be controlled.

read more at the SOURCE: Science Daily: As Ash Borer Claims More Trees, Researcher Works For Species Survival

Tree protection measure requires flexibility

Just read Chris Grygiel of Seattlepi.com blog post about the new tree measure in Seattle that could grant developers exemption for retaining trees if the trees preclude or prohibit the development of the site. This new tree protection measure seems a ham-fisted attempt at protecting trees which are in current developments (houses, offices, etc) not future developments. I can understand the need for exemption, as cities like Seattle try to encourage development in the city to create denser (in-fill) developments on existing sites instead of allowing urban sprawl to continue unabated. However, exemptions should be given only where the tree is inspected and assessed by a qualified arborist that the tree is at the end of its life or of very poor form for it species. Developers should be encouraged wherever possible to retain all existing mature trees (including tree offsets/buffers) to maintain the green canopy of the city. The benefits of trees within a city are indisputable and the length of time it takes for new trees to mature on a development is decades.

Developers may find this stance very anti-development – however new development should occur within cities to provide denser housing, offices, and retail. This is where more flexibility in tree protection measures are needed. Flexibility would come in the form of clauses that grant exemptions if the developer can show that they are going to plant new trees or install a green roof that contributes the equivalent benefit as the tree to be removed. For a developer to provide the information for this type of exemption may increase the cost of developments as the developer will have to engage consultants to assess the green value of the new trees and green roof. However, the increased environmental cost of trees being removed may be far greater in the long term.

By Damian Holmes
3 August 2009

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