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LPS Collection: The Case for Street Trees

Curated by: Landscape Architecture Foundation

Need to advocate for more street trees, better design tree space design, or preservation of existing trees? Here are some useful precedents and research compiled from our Landscape Performance Series.

Case Study Briefs

parkavenue

Park Avenue/US 50 Phase 1 Redevelopment
South Lake Tahoe, California

“Streetscape improvements are part of many revitalization plans, and trees often play a big role. In this case, street trees and large planted areas complement increased building setbacks and wider sidewalks, helping to revitalize this corridor and create a scenic, pedestrian-friendly destination.”



uptownnormalUptown Normal Circle and Streetscape
Normal, Indiana

“We’ve seen many a tree go into decline after maxing out its root space, so we love that this project uses underground structural cells to give more soil volume to the 67 street trees. This is projected to triple their lifespan, saving an estimated $61,000 in tree replacement costs over 50 years.”

 

theavenueThe Avenue
Washington, DC

“LAF is based in DC, so we know how essential shade is for outdoor dining in the summer. Researchers counted an average of 90 individuals dining outside at any given time in summer on The Avenue’s 58-ft wide landscaped sidewalk with double rows of street trees.

 

Fast Fact Library

A Modesto, California study found that asphalt on streets shaded by large canopy trees lasts longer than asphalt on unshaded streets, reducing maintenance costs by 60% over 30 years.

“This research is very powerful since Departments of Transportation (DOTs) may only think of street trees as a maintenance liability.”


A study of houses in Portland, Oregon found that on average, street trees add 3% to sales price and reduce time-on-market (TOM) by 1.7 days. In addition, the study found that the benefits of street trees spill over to neighboring houses.

“In addition to public benefits, street trees provide benefits to the adjacent property owners, like the increased home sales prices documented here.”



Benefits Toolkit

National Tree Benefit Calculator
Casey Trees, Davey Tree Expert Company

“This easy-to-use online tool calculates stormwater, energy, carbon, air quality, and property value benefits for individual trees. The only inputs are tree species, size, adjacent land use, and zip code.”

 

i-Tree Streets
USDA Forest Service

“This free application uses tree inventory data to quantify environmental and aesthetic benefits and their dollar value, including: energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, stormwater control, and property value increase.”

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