Author: Dimke, Kelley C.
Description: The value of the urban forest as a component of the urban environment is significant. Environmental benefits of the urban forest include improved air quality, energy conservation through reduction of heating and cooling costs, climate moderation, flood control, reduction in noise levels and wildlife habitat. The urban forest also provides many social benefits. Studies have shown that trees reduce stress and improve the physical health of urbanites. Financial support for urban forestry in many cities is on the decline. The objective of this research was to evaluate the impact trees have on property values of six communities (Bond Hill, Carthage, Clifton, Hyde Park, Kennedy Heights and North Avondale) of varying socio-economic levels in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tax assessor records were obtained from property sales between the years 2000 and 2005. One hundred sites were randomly selected from each of the six communities. Data were collected from each site during the winter as well as the summer months. Dominant genus, caliper of dominant genus, estimate of tree cover, and overall property maintenance were recorded. Using the hedonic method of cost benefit analysis it was determined that each percentage increase in tree cover added $783.98 to the property value. The average value of tree canopy across the 600 sites is $20,226 or 10.7% of the sale price of the home. The findings from this research will be useful to Urban Forestry Departments in their requests for funding.