USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Publications and Products

Title: A benefit-cost analysis of ten tree species in Modesto, California, U.S.A

Authors: McPherson, E.G.

Date: 2003

Source Journal of Arboriculture. 29(1): 1-8

Abstract: Tree work records for ten species were analyzed to estimate average annual management costs by dbh class for six activity areas. Average annual benefits were calculated by dbh class for each species with computer modeling. Average annual net benefits per tree were greatest for London plane (Platanus acerifolia) ($178.57), hackberry (Celtis sinensis) ($148.42), and Modesto ash (Fraxinus velutina‘Modesto’) ($126.16) and least for pear (Pyrus calleryana cvs.)($33.65), pistache (Pistacia chinensis) ($64.98), and camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) ($71.36). Benefit–cost ratios (BCRs) were greatest for plane (24.3:1), ginkgo (7.4:1), and camphor (7.3:1). Species with the lowest BCRs were sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) (2.4:1), pear (2.6:1), and pistache (3.3:1). Aging of sweetgum and Modesto ash will result in reduced net benefits because BCRs decreased once trees reached the 46 cm dbh class. Uses of benefit–cost data to increase future net benefits are discussed.

Keywords: Urban forest valuation, economic analysis, tree selection, benefit cost analysis

View and print the publication (398.0 KB)


    McPherson, E.G. 2003. A benefit-cost analysis of ten tree species in Modesto, California, U.S.A. Journal of Arboriculture. 29(1): 1-8.
Last Modified: September 5, 2018