New study puts value of Dublin trees in the billions

Published by Ja Wei Lee on

April 13th, 2018

A new study has found that urban trees in the Irish capital led to higher house prices and may be worth up to €126 billion.

The study by the National College of Ireland (NCI) measured the relationship between 20,000 housing properties sold in Dublin in the last three years and its tree canopy coverage.

The study found that areas with higher tree canopy coverage had generally higher housing values.

The study used Google and NASA satellite data to map tree canopy coverage in Dublin, while the Residential Property Price Index was used to create an indexed valuation for the properties.

Tree canopy coverage in Dublin was measured into three areas: canopy cover by district, canopy cover of 600 metres from each house, and canopy cover of 250 metres from each house. At a district level, trees were valued at up to €126 billion.

According to the study, the value of Dublin parks, wider streets with street trees, larger gardens and amenities indirectly captured by the data suggests that the value may be higher than €126 billion.

More trees bring more value

Areas such as Blackrock, Rathmines, and Templeogue have some of the highest tree coverage in Dublin, as well as high housing values.

However, suburbs such as Tallaght, Clondalkin, and Finglas have low tree density levels despite recent development.

The study states that recent planning policies and commercial development practices may have reduced priority for streets trees and tree-related amenities for these areas.

The study’s author Shane Grogan told the Green News that national and local policies could rectify this inequality in tree coverage.

Functional Value of Trees

In 2016, a similar study was conducted on urban trees in Mountshannon, Co Clare to measure its structure, function and value.

The 418 trees surveyed in the study found that it had the capacity to store 116 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The largest tree in the village and the largest oak in Ireland, the ‘Be Binn’ champion oak, alone accumulated over 17,000 kg of carbon within it. It had an estimated value of €422,209 alone.

Other urban trees surveyed had an estimated structural value of €544,000 and carbon storage value at €2,223.

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Ja Wei Lee

Ja Wei is a third-year journalism student from DIT. He is passionate about writing, exploring new ideas and has a keen interest in social issues