The Amenity Value of Trees: a Meta-analysis of Hedonic, Property-value Studies

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Virginia Tech

Tree species migration as a result of climate change may alter the composition of trees in local communities. Shifts in tree diversity, stand age, species predominance and the overall number of trees are potential changes. Community tree programs may also change the characteristics of local trees through planting or preservation efforts, but these programs may also mitigate the effects of climate induced tree migration. Numerous hedonic property value studies have estimated the implicit price of tree amenities associated with residential properties. Quantitative analysis of the results from multiple studies valuing trees can identify if the relationship between implicit price and tree amenities extended across these studies.

The results of the meta-regression found systematic variation was present across positive implicit prices for local tree cover. The scarcity, age and type of local trees were also significantly related to the implicit price of amenity tree cover. The amenity tree cover findings suggest that county tree canopy cover of about 42% optimizes implicit price. Recent extreme weather events and ownership of trees contributed to negative implicit prices. These results may assist in planning and goal setting for community tree programs to mitigate the effects of climate induced tree migration.

tree value, hedonic valuation, meta-analysis, climate change