The Case For Trees

A Purple Leaf Plum Tree on McAllister St, San Francisco between Divisadero and Scott. There’s over 124,795 trees in SF.

The most spacious and princely establishments without (trees) appear covered with the most prison-like gloom. A bald head is not comely, neither is a street seemly which is not well set with trees. - Andrew Jackson Downing

Why should we plant trees on city streets? Aside from the obvious aesthetic boost, that even a one eyed brute could appreciate? Here’s some more reasons from Jeff Speck’s ‘Walkable City’.

• When roads have broad, treeless recovery zones’, drivers tend to drive faster, and crashes become more frequent and deadly.

• A properly shaded neighborhood is said to require 15 to 35 percent less air conditioning than a treeless one.

• Shade encourages more pedestrians in warmer climates and increases shopping/other economic activity.

• All greenery absorbs CO2 but trees are by far the most effective.

• Trees are great at absorbing water, thus preventing storm water overflow. So they are both a carbon and a literal sink.

• Trees planted within 50ft of houses in one neighborhood caused home prices to increase by 9%. An adjacent tree added 3% to median sale price of a house, an uptick of 8,870. The presence of healthy street trees likely adds 15.3 million to annual property tax revenues. (Study in Portland, Oregon).

How to get involved in SF. Friends of Urban Forestry seems a good place to start.

trees sf

June 23, 2018