Traveling Tree Walk in Pinellas shows value of trees - WFLA News Channel 8

Traveling Tree Walk in Pinellas shows value of trees

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Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community. Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community.
Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community. Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community.
Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community. Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community.
Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community. Price tags on trees in some Pinellas County parks show the value of the trees to the community.
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL - On a walk through some Pinellas County parks, if you look closely, you may notice price tags on trees. Only those tags don't show how much the trees cost, they show how much they are worth.

"Trees are more valuable than one might think," said Pinellas County Natural Resource Extension Agent, Lara Miller.

Miller developed these "value tags" as part of a Traveling Tree Walk to show people that every tree counts, and they can add up in your wallet.

"It's a perfect fit for Pinellas County because it's a really urban county, and people don't really get to interact with nature," said Miller.

She used a software program called I-Tree, which is used by the USDA Forest Service for urban forest management, to find the economic value of six types of trees.

Value estimates for the improvement of air quality and increased property values are taken into account. The root system of each tree helps prevent soil erosion.  The wider the root system, the higher the soil erosion value is for each tree.

"They also help to provide shade, so during the summer, it can help reduce energy cost, and then during the winter help to block wind and reduce heating costs," said Miller.

The value shown on these price tags only considers the economic impact for humans. Miller says the value trees have for other wildlife is not represented, but it is also an important part of the overall value of trees.

Right now, the Traveling Tree Walk is in Eagle Lake Park, Anderson Park, and the Seminole campus of St. Petersburg College.  Miller hopes to get these value tags placed in other parks and communities throughout Pinellas County. 

While there may not be a money tree in your backyard, trees are making an economic and ecological difference.

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