Air Quality

California Street Trees Provide $1 Billion in Annual Value

A new report from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station estimates trees lining California’s streets provide benefits to urban communities worth $1 billion annually. Using i-Tree, an urban forest inventory and management software suite, researchers arrived at a complete understanding of California’s tree species, size, location, and associated benefits.

Florida Forest Service Saves Homeowners $2.3 Million

This spring, the Florida Forest Service provided 10,000 trees to homeowners across the Sunshine State, through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. By enrolling in the Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program, the state forestry agency was able to offer a wide variety of free trees across the state to homeowners that agreed to plant them in the best locations to shade their residence. The combined home energy savings over 20 years will amount to more than $2.3 million.

Wildfire Smoke: The Health Threat That Won't Go Away

Health departments across the West are mobilizing to protect residents’ health from smoke generated by dozens of fires that have sent smoke as far east as the Midwest.

“It’s really bad,” said Janice Nolan, assistance vice president for national policy of American Lung Association. “I hadn’t seen code maroon days, which is the most hazardous air quality, in years.”

Lewiston, Idaho, is stewing under “very unhealthy” smoke, with older people, people with heart and lung disease and children urged to “avoid all physical activity outdoors.”

Urban Trees Help Us Breathe

Rebecca Nisley is a science writer and editor for the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station.

We know that trees provide ecosystem benefits even in cities. The oxygen, cooling shade, and carbon storage are commonly understood, but did you know that trees also remove air pollution?

Trees do this by catching small particles of soot and dirt on their surfaces and also by absorbing gaseous pollutants (such as ozone, O3) through the leaf pores.