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US Urban Forest Statistics, Values, and Projections

Reference Type
Journal, Research (Article)

Urban & community forestry research article from the Journal of Forestry showing trends and projections in urban land expansion from 2000 to 2060. Information in this paper provides an estimate of the magnitude and variation of the urban forest resource nationally, its likely expansion in the future, and the value of just a few of its ecosystem services.

U.S. urban land increased from 2.6% (57.9 million acres) in 2000 to 3.0% (68.0 million acres) in 2010. States with the greatest amount of urban growth were in the South/Southeast (TX, FL, NC, GA and SC). Between 2010 and 2060, urban land is projected to increase another 95.5 million acres to 163.1 million acres (8.6%) with 18 states projected to have an increase of over 2 million acres. Overall, there are an estimated 5.5 billion trees (39.4% tree cover) in urban areas nationally that contain 127 million acres of leaf area and 44 million tons of dry-weight leaf biomass. Annually, these trees produce a total of $18.3 billion in value related to air pollution removal ($5.4 billion), reduced building energy use ($5.4 billion), carbon sequestration ($4.8 billion) and avoided pollutant emissions ($2.7 billion). States with greatest annual urban forest values were: Florida ($1.9 billion), California ($1.4 billion), Pennsylvania ($1.1 billion), New York ($1.0 billion) and Ohio ($971 million).

D.J. Nowak, E.J. Greenfield
Date Published
March 2018
Journal of Forestry
Society of American Foresters
Start Page
End Page
Sprawl, Environmental Services, Fragmentation/Parcelization, Benefits (general/multiple)
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