Why should we spend money maintaining our trees and planting new ones?
Trees are a vital asset to the city and in fact trees are the only assets that appreciate in value! The City of Elgin knows that trees pay us back if we invest in their care. They bring lasting value to the environment, value to our property, and create memories to be shared throughout generations.
In the urban forest, money actually does grow on trees! Healthy trees bring a growing return on our investment. They reduce air pollution, protect our water quality, reduce stormwater management costs, reduce noise, help conserve energy costs, and increase the value of our properties. According to U.S. Forest Service Research, unlike other city assets, as a tree grows older it also grows in value. On average, trees return $3 to $7 in annual benefits for every dollar invested in their care.
This project will include a precise calculation of the value of Elgin's trees. Check back in the near future for a summary report that will show the costs and benefits of the city's urban forest.
If you want to see all of the services and the monetary value that one of your own trees provides you every year, click here to access the easy-to-use National Tree Benefit Calculator.
How can I help?
Your support now and in the future is critical to the success of Elgin's goal of having a safe and sustainable urban forest. The majority of our trees and natural resources exist on private property, so your actions can make a big difference in maximizing the benefits we can all enjoy now and in the future. Here are just some of the things you can do to help:
- Plant the right trees and shrubs in the right place in your own yard.
- Do not plant invasive trees, shrubs or groundcovers.
- Properly maintain your trees.
- Consult with a Certified Arborist or other expert about what tree is right for you and how to take care of it.
- If the city plants a new tree near your home, help it get established and thrive by watering it, calling the city if you have any concerns about it, and by not damaging the trunk with mowers or string trimmers
- Get involved with neighborhood and city groups that focus on our "green infrastructure,"sustainability issues, and trees.
- Learn more about the urban forest by attending special events, exploring websites, and asking questions of city staff and other experts about trees and natural resources.