Tree Benefits Analysis of Maple by Claudia Winslett

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{As the Horticulture and Crop Science 3410 “Sustainable Landscape Maintenance” class went virtual in late March, one of the assignments was to do an i-Tree analysis of a tree that students could access and measure somewhere they could do safely self-distance.  This analysis is by OSU student Claudia Winslett. You can check out how the i-Tree models work by going to for individual trees, and for far more robust options to itree }  


Tree Benefits Analysis: i-Tree Analysis of Maple – by Claudia Winslett


For my chosen tree I picked a maple in a single residential home in Brunswick, Ohio. This tree has a trunk diameter of 42 inches and has an expanding root system throughout the backyard. Trees manage erosion and contribute largely to storm water control. As our rainfalls and weather events become more extreme, trees are essential to control mass water flow that can cause flooding and other damage.


This maple intercepts 2,867 gallons of rainwater each year which would have flowed into a runoff reservoir or storm drain. Tree roots also allow the soil some protection from being constantly poured on. This could potentially damage soil structure and limit infiltration over time. Another essential component of tree benefit is their ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.


Even though $152 doesn’t seem like a large sum of money, the worth adds up as the years do. This tree is approximately 30 years old so over time the net benefits of this tree adds up to a couple thousand dollars. Each year the value of this tree only increases as it stays healthy and continues to infiltrate more storm water, reduce energy costs and remove pollutants from the air.


{Note from Chatfield: I thought I could display an i-Tree pie chart showing the various components of tree benefits (storm water remediation, energy benefits, carbon sequestration, air quality benefits, property values) in this bygl-alert format, but I fear not, at least for now. To check out how cool this is - put in values for Claudia's tree in and you shall see for yourself!}

For a little visual stimulation, here is some fall color on a large sugar maple tree in Doylestown Ohio


sugar maple tree
Large sugar maple tree, relatively color-coordinated with road signs: a true urban tree.