Summary of 2012 i-Tree Streets Assessment
For the City of Colorado Springs, the i-Tree Streets assessment sampled 3% of all city streets, which produces a standard error of 10%. The i-Tree streets assessment produces reports on the structure, function and value of street trees. Colorado Springs has a street tree population of 198.510 trees. The street tree population is 18.65%Ash trees valued at $165,366,182.00. Emerald Ash Borer could have a noticeable effect on our urban forest street tree composition and value. The Pine, Ash and Elm genus’s each represent more than 10% of the street tree population.A general guideline for urban forest diversity is no more than 5% of any one species, 10% of any one genus. Our street tree population is predominately composed of trees in the middle to latter part of their life with a younger generation that is incapable of replacing the older generations at current population levels. The street tree canopy covers 13% of streets and sidewalks and 3% of the total land area. For comparison the canopy of Denver street trees covers 6.6% of Denver. The Net Annual Benefits provided by street trees is worth $28,915,194.00. Our street trees annually reduce the energy costs of the city by 21,900 Kilowatts and 2,128,219 Therms, a savings of $3,322,251. Street trees reduce annual storm water runoff in the city by 435,910,658 gallons worth $4,708,162.00. Our street trees sequester 83,886,922 lbs of CO2every year, a reduction in CO2worth $629,152.00.At this time street trees have stored 675,575,485 lbs of Carbon in their lives worth $5,066,816.00.Street trees increase property values in the city through tangible and intangible benefits by $20,210,508.00. Each street tree in Colorado Springs provides 109 times more benefits in dollars than it costs to maintain annually. The full cost of replacing our street tree population in its current condition based on the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers is $828,246,111.00. Future goals derived from the i-Tree streets assessment include improving street tree canopy coverage over the next several years by increasing scope and intensity of street tree planting programs to consistently improve canopy coverage. In Colorado Springs there is plenty of space available, 21.2% of developed areas is available green space suitable for planting. To increase the canopy coverage of Colorado Springs street trees from 3% to 6% will require at least 200,000 more street trees. In 2013 City Forestry plans on conducting an i-Tree Eco assessment of Colorado Springs. The i-Tree Eco program generates reports based on sampling of private and public lands to provide a detailed picture of the entire urban forest of Colorado Springs. The reports from the i-tree Eco program include: species composition, tree cover, tree density, tree health, leaf area, leaf biomass, hourly air pollution removal by the urban forest, reductions in public health incidents due to air quality improvements, effect of trees on building energy use and related reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, total carbon stored and net carbon sequestered annually by trees and annual rainfall interception by trees.
Article submitted by City of Colorado Springs Intern Forester Bryn Iten