Publication Details

The value of an urban forest

Publication Toolbox

Year Published



Urbane Walder. 20:22-24.


What good is a tree or a forest in a city? Or more precisely how much is it worth to the people of the city? In ancient Greece, gods were worshipped in groves of trees and trees were sacred. In Germany the Linden tree was believed to help unearth the truth and judicial meetings were held under a Linden tree. Today, in our industrial forests we value timber based on market prices for cubic meters of lumber, or tons of biomass. In cities, though, we don't grow trees as a marketable product - so how much is a tree worth in a city? Perhaps to someone like Aldo Leopold, we are simply demonstrating our ignorance by trying to quantify the value of a plant, but so often it seems our society is driven by monetary considerations. That means that a decision that requires additional public resources, like planting or caring for a tree, must be justified by an analysis of cost and benefit.
German version


Hallett, Richard A. 2013. The value of an urban forest. Urbane Walder. 20:22-24.

Last updated on: February 1, 2016