A study of 26,000 trees owned and managed by a Housing Association in England has estimated their replacement cost at over £15 million and their annual environmental benefit at over £112,000.
The need for adequate housing provision in the UK is very topical at both central and local government level. Equally topical, for obvious reasons, is the need for high quality green space to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the population.
Trees are critically important in the provision of high quality green space, adding scale and an enduring framework to the landscape.
It is estimated that housing associations provide as many as 2.4 million homes in England and have responsibility for much of the green space and trees surrounding them, yet it has been estimated that as many as 57% of providers do not have qualified horticultural or arboricultural staff managing them.
Given the value of this asset, this is surprising. Especially as it is an asset which grows year on year. The larger the trees, the more services they provide.
The study referred to above identified that the 153 tree species recorded were removing nearly 4 tonnes of pollution annually, at a value of just under £50,000. They were also sequestering over 100 tonnes of carbon each year, at a value of over £25,000, and 10,500m₃ of avoided stormwater run-off, at a value of over £16,000 annually. In addition, the trees are currently storing over 3,500 tonnes of carbon inside their woody structures, valued at over £862,000. Obviously, the amount of carbon stored will increase as the trees grow larger.
It is estimated that there are over 2 million trees in housing association ownership in England, so the 26,000 trees in this study are a minuscule percentage of the total.
In order to calculate these values, Treeconomics utilised the housing association’s existing tree inventory. This provided enough information to enable a detailed report to be compiled on the asset value of these trees, and the ecosystem services they are delivering each year.
If you do not have a tree inventory, Treeconomics can help you acquire one. If you do have a tree inventory, Treeconomics can help you release its values.
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