Street Trees: A New Hampshire Primer

Benefits and Implementation Considerations
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 0607-08
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The benefits provided to communities by urban forestry programs, specifically street tree planting and maintenance, appear to outweigh the costs in all cases studied. As such, street tree planting and management programs may be viable options for communities to consider incorporating if they are currently seeking to revitalize downtown village business districts and residential neighborhoods, encourage pedestrian traffic and walkable neighborhoods, or create green infrastructure. Depending upon the site and scope of the street tree program, as well as physical design, street trees can provide functions consistent with the aims of safe, healthy, pedestrian friendly and aesthetically pleasing communities.

However, many obstacles may impede the successful design or implementation of a street tree program. Foremost of these concerns is the budget required to create and maintain a successful program that produces results valued by the public. A secondary concern is often lack of public awareness of street trees and the benefits they can provide as well as a lack of public support. Communities investigating street tree programs may be best served by exploring the costs and benefits of these programs as measured by the degree to which they match community goals.