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Tree Guidelines for Coastal Southern California Communities

Reference Type
Technology Transfer Publication

"Communities in the Coastal Southern California region contain over 9 million people, or about 25% of the state’s population. The region’s climate is influenced by the ocean 85% or more of the time and extends from Santa Barbara south to the border with Mexico and from the coast to inland cities such as Camarillo, Hollywood, Anaheim and El Cajon. The role of urban forests – trees in parks, yards, public spaces, and along streets – to improve environmental quality, increase the economic, physical and social health of communities, and foster civic pride will be important to quality of life as these communities continue to grow in the next decade. Urban and community forestry has been recognized as a cost effective means to address a variety of important community and national issues from improving air quality to combating global warming.

This guidebook analyzes the multitude of benefits that trees can provide to communities and residents. By determining the community and home owner savings from planting trees and subtracting the cost, this study found that trees more than pay for themselves. Over a 40-year period, after subtracting costs, every large tree produces savings of approximately $2,600. This amount decreases with the tree’s size with medium trees saving about $1,000 and small trees breaking even."


E.G. McPherson, K.I. Scott, J.R. Simpson, Q. Xiao, P.J. Peper
Date Published
USDA Forest Service
Publisher Location
Davis, CA
Center for Urban Forest Research
Economics/Cost-Benefit Analysis, Selection (tree)
STRATUM, Tree guide
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