The City of Roanoke is filled with trees, but have you ever considered the tangible value of this urban forest? Beyond their aesthetic value, trees provide a wealth of benefits to residents of the Star City. From the elms in Elmwood Park to the oaks and maples along our roadways, Roanoke’s trees clean the air, filter water, and even slow flood effects. Their shade can keep the summer heat at bay, and these impacts result in a healthier and more connected community.
In fact, according to the Arbor Day Foundation:
- One large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people.
- Trees cool the city by up to 10°F by shading our homes and streets and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.
- Office workers with a view of trees report significantly less stress and more satisfaction.
- Carefully positioned trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25%.
The Value of a Tree
Throughout the month of April, Play Roanoke’s Urban Forestry section has been tagging trees across the City of Roanoke with information about their value. This initiative is in celebration of Arbor Day, a national holiday created to recognize the importance of trees and encourage tree plantings, held annually on the last Friday in April. By this years Arbor Day on April 28, forty trees in the City of Roanoke will have informational tags.
Learn more about the tagged trees at our Value of a Tree page. Use the interactive map to locate trees, explore the variety of species, and see photos of each tree.
About Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry Work
Unlike many cities its size, Roanoke is home to 158 types of trees that span more than 13,146 acres of tree canopy. As a result of Roanoke’s commitment to and care of its trees, it has been designated a Tree City USA. Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry team provides regular maintenance based on staff observations or by citizen request. Routine maintenance is done to protect newly planted trees.
To help protect the local tree ecosystem, Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry division offers a volunteer Tree Stewards training each year.
Tree Stewards help care for young trees on city-owned property. The 26-hour training begins with nine classes held on Monday nights. Once the in-class training is complete, volunteers attend three field sessions held on Saturday mornings during the spring. The in-field training focuses on tree planting, pruning, and tree identification. Once qualified, Roanoke Tree Stewards complete a minimum of 30 hours of work during their first year and 20 hours in subsequent years. Volunteers may also give educational presentations to adults and children. The next Tree Steward training will begin early 2024.