Urban trees are known to provide health benefits to society, but they can also have economic benefits as well. The city of Tampa faces major redevelopment pressure that could directly affect the relationship between urban trees and single-family house prices. Policymakers and developers wanted to know how the presence of trees could affect the value of houses being sold for redevelopment.
To provide this necessary information, research economist Geoffrey Donovan with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and his colleagues investigated the relationship between urban trees and the sales price of single-family homes in Tampa, Florida. They used models to remove the influence of different house and neighborhood characteristics and found that houses with trees within 500 feet of the lot were associated with higher sales prices. In fact, an increase of just 1-%tree cover was associated with an increase in sales price over $9,000. The City of Tampa used this information to inform revisions to their tree protection ordinance.