Results of the 3-year Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project indicate that there are an estimated 50.8 million trees in the Chicago area of Cook and DuPage Counties; 66 percent of these trees rated in good or excellent condition. During 1991, trees in the Chicago area removed an estimated 6,145 tons of air pollutants, providing air cleansing valued at $9.2 million dollars, These trees also sequester approximately 155,000 tons of carbon per year, and provide residential heating and cooling energy savings that, in turn, reduce carbon emissions from power plants by about 12,600 tons annually. Shade, lower summer air temperatures, and a reduction in windspeed associated with increasing tree cover by 10 percent can lower total heating and cooling energy use by 5 to 10 percent annually ($50 to $90 per dwelling unit). The projected net present value of investment in planting and care of 95,000 trees in Chicago is $38 million ($402 per planted tree), indicating that the long-term benefits of trees are more than twice their costs. Policy and program opportunities to strengthen the connection between city residents and city trees are presented.
McPherson, Gregory E.; Nowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A.; [Editors] 1994. Chicago''s urban forest ecosystem: results of the Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-186. Radnor, PA: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 201 p.