The urban forest of New York City.


An analysis of the urban forest in New York, New York, reveals that this city has an estimated 7.0 million trees (encompassing all woody plants greater than one-inch diameter at breast height [d.b.h.]) with tree canopy that covers 21 percent of the city. The most common tree species across public and private land are Norway maple, northern white-cedar, tree-of-heaven, sassafras, and white oak, but the most dominant species in terms of leaf area are Norway maple, London planetree, black locust, pin oak, and red maple. Trees in New York City currently store about 1.2 million tons of carbon (4.2 million tons carbon dioxide [CO2]) valued at $153 million. In addition, these trees remove about 51,000 tons of carbon per year (186,000 tons CO2/year) ($6.8 million per year) and about 1,100 tons of air pollution per year ($78 million per year). New York City's urban forest is estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $17.1 million per year and reduce runoff by 69 million cubic feet/year ($4.6 million/year). The compensatory value of the trees is estimated at $5.7 billion. The information presented in this report can be used by local organizations to advance urban forest policies, planning, and management to improve environmental quality and human health in New York City. The analyses also provide a basis for monitoring changes in the urban forest over time.

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