Trees Make Dollars and Sense

“City trees provide many environmental benefits, the usual justification for urban forestry investment, and an important concern as the public gains greater interest in urban sustainability. We now know that trees serve other functions, particularly for retail and commercial interests. 

A multi-study research program has investigated how consumers respond to trees in various business settings in cities and towns.  Results have been remarkably consistent. Trees positively affect judgments of visual quality, but more significantly, appear to influence other consumer responses and behaviors. 

Survey respondents from all regions of the U.S. favor trees in retail settings, and this preference is further reflected in positive perceptions, patronage behavior, and product pricing. It is important to note that the highest ratings were granted to places having full, mature tree canopy, the result of careful maintenance across decades. 

Trees and landscapes can be significant elements in place marketing. Economists have noted that shopping was once a utilitarian activity to fulfill needs and wants, but today shoppers are pursuing places that offer social, memorable experiences. Trees help create place and connect to deeply felt preferences and appreciations that people have for nature. The urban forest is an important part of the vibrant, satisfying places that shoppers enjoy."

Kathleen Wolfe, Ph.D.
University of Washington

The Oklahoma Tree Bank Foundation
3535 N. Classen
Oklahoma City, OK 73013
(405) 702-4050

The Oklahoma Experience:

Trees play an integral role in the aesthetics of urban communities, but did you know that they also provide countless environmental and economic benefits? Planting a tree will be a contribution to your community that will give back for many years to come. 

Economic Benefits
Studies have shown that property values increase by as much as 20% in residential areas with healthy trees. Also, shoppers linger longer along avenues shaded by trees.

Environmental Benefits
Trees planted in urban areas have huge environmental impacts. Trees clean the air by absorbing air pollutants and releasing oxygen. In one year, a single tree can absorb as much carbon as a car produces when driven 26,000 miles. 

Maintaining Your New Tree
When you make the decision to add a tree to your landscape, you are making an investment that will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine. However, like any other investment, you must nurture it in order for it to grow. 
The maintenance of a tree in its first three years takes effort and dedication. It must be maintained and watered regularly in order to survive. It is important to consult your local plant health care professional at every stage in the life of your tree in order to protect your investment. 

The Right Tree for the Right Place
The wrong species or placement of trees can mean wasted money and effort, as well as defying the purpose of the planting. When planting trees in urban areas, you must carefully select trees that are adapted to the stresses of the urban environment. Be sure to visit your local nursery for a proper selection of species best suited for your area. 
Before you begin any tree planting project on public or private land, contact your local municipality to find out about city ordinances regarding tree planting.