Houston’s Urban Forest, 2015

  • Authors: Nowak, David J.; Bodine, Allison R.; Hoehn, Robert E.; Edgar, Christopher B.; Riley, Gretchen; Hartel, Dudley R.; Dooley, Kerry J.; Stanton, Sharon M.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Brandeis, Thomas J.; Lister, Tonya W.
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Publication Series: Resource Bulletin (RB)
  • Source: Resour. Bull. SRS–211. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station.

Abstract

An analysis of the urban forest in Houston, Texas, reveals that this area has an estimated 33.3 million live trees with tree canopy that covers 18.4 percent of the city. Roughly 19.2 million of the city’s trees are located on private lands. The most common tree species are yaupon, Chinese tallowtree, Chinese privet, Japanese privet, and sugarberry. Trees in Houston currently store about 2.0 million tons of carbon (7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide [CO2]); valued at $272 million. In addition, these trees remove about 126,000 tons of carbon per year (462,000 tons CO2 per year) ($16.8 million per year) and about 2,400 tons of air pollution per year ($20.4 million per year). Houston’s urban forest is also estimated to provide 126 million cubic feet of net wood volume and to reduce annual residential energy costs by $54.6 million per year. Reduction in runoff provided by the trees in Houston is estimated at 173 million cubic feet per year with an associated value of $7.8 million per year. The compensatory value of the trees is estimated at $16.3 billion. The information presented in this report can be used to improve and augment support for urban forest management programs and to inform policy and planning to improve environmental quality and human health in Houston. The analysis also provides a basis for monitoring changes in the urban forest over time.

  • Citation: Nowak, David J.; Bodine, Allison R.; Hoehn, Robert E., III; Edgar, Christopher B.; Riley,Gretchen; Hartel, Dudley R.; Dooley, Kerry J.; Stanton, Sharon M.; Hatfield, Mark A.; Brandeis, Thomas J.; Lister, Tonya W. 2017. Houston’s Urban Forest, 2015. Resour. Bull. SRS–211. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 91 p.
  • Keywords: Air pollution removal, carbon sequestration, ecosystem services, tree value, urban forestry inventory.
  • Posted Date: May 1, 2017
  • Modified Date: May 1, 2017
  • Requesting Print Publications

    Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

    Please make any requests at pubrequest@fs.fed.us.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.