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

Author: McPherson, E.G.;

Date: 2003

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

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: 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

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



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.


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