2005 – 2006 Trees Count! Street Tree Census
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Just in time for Arbor Day, on April 26, 2007, Parks announced green news–New York City was already 100,000 street trees greener than it was ten years before that, and the City would plant a million more trees under Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC.
The Parks Department announced the results of the second citywide count of trees that grow on New York City streets and are managed by Parks. The 2005-2006 Street Tree Census found 592,130 street trees–a 19 percent increase over the 1995-1996 census. Thanks to 1,100 volunteers and a sophisticated computer software program, New Yorkers now have a way to quantify the enormous benefits of New York’s street trees–from pollution reduction to savings on air conditioning bills. Street trees provide almost $122 million in benefits annually to City residents and are one of the best investments around.
Over the course of two summers, volunteers fanned out across the City to record information (such as size, species, location, and condition) for every street tree in New York City, logging a total of more than 30,000 volunteer hours. The United States Forest Service analyzed the data using a computer modeling program based on tree growth curves, climate data, and regional patterns of energy use, pollution levels, and building construction to quantify the dollar value of annual environmental and aesthetic benefits of each of the trees surveyed.