Friday, March 11, 2011

Forest gumption: Goal to plant a million trees — Philadelphia, PA

Forest gumption: Goal to plant a million trees — NewsWorks

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has launched a tree-planting program with an ambitious goal: 1 million trees throughout the tri-state region.
Spread over 13 counties in South Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware, the ambitious urban forestry effort will put tools and resources in the hands of individuals, community groups and corporations who will do the labor.
The city of Philadelphia's "green" promise to plant 300,000 trees is included in the million-tree number.
The project--called Plant One Million--will get some help from new software developed by the U.S. Forest Service.
It's called iTree, and it works like tax software. Plug in data such as location, maximum height and average rainfall. Then input what you want the tree to accomplish: create shade, block wind, and/or absorb storm water. The software then spits out a list of trees that would be appropriate.
While most people intuitively appreciate the aesthetic and health benefits of trees, iTree can express the benefit of trees in dollar amounts. For example, a homeowner can expect a 20-foot red oak tree to save him $116 a year in energy costs.

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