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Survey shows benefits of campus trees ($570K+)

Fred CowettAn article in the Cornell Chronicle details Cornell’s first comprehensive tree inventory.

Conducted this summer, the survey found that the campus’s 7,000-plus trees store millions of pounds of carbon and provide more than half a million dollars in benefits to the university.

“The tree inventory of main campus — excluding the vast wooded areas within the gorges and campus natural areas — was conducted by Cornell graduate students Fred Cowett in horticulture (right) and Chris Gruber in landscape architecture …

“Tree data was run through a software program called STRATUM that estimates energy savings, carbon sequestration, storm water mitigation and the replacement value of trees.

“The software calculated, for example, that campus trees store a total of almost 15 million pounds of carbon; sequester 740,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year that would otherwise add to greenhouse warming in the atmosphere; provide total annual benefits in ecosystem services of more than $570,000 per year; and would cost $19 million to replace.

“‘The university has been very interested in obtaining an up-to-date tree inventory to enable running STRATUM and using the metrics from the program as part of the campus climate plan,’ said Cowett.

Read the whole article to find out the oldest and largest trees on campus.

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