The state of Texas lost 5.6 million urban trees and as many as 500 million forest trees in the drought that’s been plaguing the state since last year, according to a Texas Forest Research study released last week. With these kinds of numbers we’re looking at a loss of about 10 percent of the city trees and 10 percent of the forest trees in the entire state. One of the most dramatic changes came in Houston’s Memorial Park, where thousands of pine trees were lost.
Removal will cost at least $560 million and the state will also lose an estimated $280 million annually in the environmental and economic benefits that urban trees provide, like shading buildings and controlling storm water runoff. The study estimates that if the drought continues through 2012 we’re likely to see at least double the number of losses as the trees that are more drought tolerant run out of their reserves.
Read the complete story at the Austin American-Statesman.
Stephanie Hedean is a Marketing Consultant and volunteer for The Nature Conservancy.
Photo by Flicker user pelicanwind via a Creative Commons license. (Big Thicket Drought)
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