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Cheaper To Plant Trees Than Generate More Electricity
May 17, 2001

This article from the Sustainable Cities News is posted at the News Desk at www.treelink.org—also see the latest Smart-Growth News Bytes.

Urban Trees Reduce Energy Load

DAVIS, CA, February 20, 2001 - City trees can reduce energy use for heating and air conditioning buildings, according to an urban forestry expert with the University of California, Davis. Greg McPherson says properly sited trees can reduce temperatures in urban areas by 2-8 degrees Fahrenheit (1-4 degrees Celsius). By reducing energy use, these trees not only reduce demand for electricity, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, they also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere directly.

The Western Center for Urban Forest Research and Education, led by McPherson, has studied the costs and benefits of the urban forest in California cities including Sacramento, Modesto and Santa Monica. The center worked with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to evaluate their shade tree program. After analyzing the situation, what McPherson found was that it was cheaper for the District to plant trees than to generate more electricity. . . 

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