Coming straight outta Calcutta (Kolkata, West Bengal, India) and demonstrating the value of one of nature’s most prized possessions is Dr. T.M. Das. Dr. Das is an Indian biologist.
One of the most important factors in calculating the value of a tree is oxygen production. Oxygen production is relative to the age and weight of a tree.
The amount of leaf shed every year was also was also a factor in calculating a tree’s value.
The amount the tree is worth has been adjusted for inflation. *A medium sized tree produces about $30,000 worth of oxygen over a period of 50 years. Trees are also measured by how much they impact wildlife; “Prof Das assessed that a tree in India could feed a pair of goats and he estimated that the conversion to animal protein would total around $2,000 over 50 years.” As we all know wildlife conservation is one of the biggest concerns facing the world today.
A single tree provides $73 worth of air conditioning, $75 of erosion control, $75 worth of wildlife shelter, and $50 worth of air pollution reduction. Compositing this total of $273 for 50 years at 5% interest results in a tree value of $57,151.
“controlling soil erosion and soil fertility $30,000; recycling of water and controlling humidity $36,000; sheltering birds, animals, and other plants, etc $30,000; and controlling air pollution $60,000. This gives a total for the 50 years of $188,000.” (Beckham 1991)
Trees grown in certain areas, under electrical wires, in crowded places, etc., don’t have the same value as freestanding trees. Even dead trees have some value because they act as housing for birds and animals.
“The formula considers how rare or common a tree is, historical significance, location, form and vigor, live crown size, and life expectation. A mature Eucalyptus Pilularis, about 50 years old, has a value of about $70,000.” (Beckham 1991)
Trees and plants are responsible for stabilizing the soil, neutralizing sewage, absorbing toxins, recycling nutrients, cooling the air, modifying wind turbulence, intercepting the rain, reducing fuel costs, increasing property value, enhancing social awareness, reducing stress, providing beauty, cutting noise, giving privacy, encouraging recreation, promoting tourism, and improving personal health. They also provide food medicine and accommodation for other living things.
For more information on planting trees read Growing Greener Cities by the American Forestry Association. Published in 1992.
Trees Are People Too
Trees are much like any other organism whether it be animalia, bacteria, or plantae. They all have a desire to survive and thrive. That’s why when you study them close enough you see how hard they fight to survive adversities such as flood, fire, drought, storms, hunger, and loss of limbs. They can also tell time, communicate with each other, do math, display affection, predict changes in the weather, and even produce their own rain. Not to mention some of them can live as long as 1,000-2,000 years.
After all, trees have been holdin’ it down for 330 million years. While our genus has only been around for 2.4 million years. You can’t possibly expect a lifeform so magnificently ancient and majestic to not be possibly the best thing to happen to this planet.
*All calculations are theoretical and are based on the assumption the tree species is native to the area it lives.