Tree-Ching Trail Walk at Stephens Lake Park

Trees Pay Us Back! – Educational Campaign

Tree-Ching Trail Walk

Fourteen trees were selected at Stephens Lake Park to demonstrate the value trees provide our community. Trees were evaluated by using the National Tree Benefit Calculator, which takes into consideration a tree’s location, species and size to calculate the approximate annual economic value a specific tree provides. A price tag was displayed on all fourteen trees, showing each tree’s estimated annual monetary benefit. The map below shows the location of each tree identified on the Tree-Ching Trail Walk. The price tags in the park have since been removed, but photos of the trees in the trail walk, their respective value price tags and value charts (from the National Tree Benefit Calculator) are shown below. Research studies show that for every dollar invested in trees, there is a three to seven dollar return!

Stephens Lake Park tree-ching price tag mapopens IMAGE file

Click on the map (above) and the value price tags and charts (below) for enlargements.

1 – White Ash (Fraxinum Americana)

White Ash Tree

2 – Walnut (Juglans Nigra)

Walnut Tree

3 – Hackberry (Celtis Occidentalis)


Hackberry Tree

4 –  Honeylocust (Gleditsia Triacanthos)

Honeylocust Tree

5 –  Silver Maple (Acer Saccharinum)

Silver Maple Tree

6 –  American Sycamore (Plantanus Occidentalis)

Sycamore Tree

7 – Chinkapin Oak (Quercus Muehlenbergii)

Chinkapin Tree

8 – Red Maple (Acer Rubrum)

Red Maple Tree


9 – American Elm (Ulmus Americana)

American Elm Tree

10 – Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum)

Sugar Maple Tree

11 – White Oak (Quercus Alba)

White Oak tree

12 – Honeylocust (Gleditsia Triacanthos)

Honeylocust tree

13 – Baldcypress (Taxodium Distichium)

Baldcypress tree

14 – Pecan (Carya Illinoinensis)

Pecan tree

TRIM Grant Funding

This project was funded by the Missouri Department of Conservation through a $10,000 Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) Grant. The project includes an i-Tree Streets Analysis Report and a GIS-based tree inventory at Stephens Lake Park, tree benefit signage, and an educational outreach program.

Tree Inventory and i-Tree Streets Analysis

A component of the grant is to conduct a GIS-based tree inventory at Stephens Lake Park of all trees planted or maintained in mowed or common areas of the park (excluding the trees growing in the Hinkson Creek riparian forest corridor on the park’s eastern boundary). The following inventory data and fields will be collected:

  • Location
  • Species
  • Tree Size
  • Condition
  • Observations
  • Primary Maintenance
    • Removal
    • Large Tree Clean
    • Small Tree Clean
    • Young Tree Train
    • Stump Removal

  • Secondary Maintenance
    • Raise
    • Reduce
    • Thin
    • Utility
    • Restoration
  • Risk Assessment
    • Probability of Failure
    • Size of Defective Part
    • Probability of Target
    • Other Risk Factors

What is i-Tree Streets Analysis?

i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the US Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree Tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the structure of community trees and the environmental services that trees provide.

i-Tree Streets is a street tree management and analysis tool for urban forest managers that uses tree inventory data to quantify the dollar value of annual environmental and aesthetic benefits: energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, stormwater control, and property value increase.

Benefits of Trees

The following are some of the benefits research studies have shown that trees provide:

  • Trees reduce storm water control costs – 100 mature trees catch about 539,000 gallons of rain water per year.
  • Trees reduce energy costs – Home owners can save up to 56% of annual air conditioning costs from shade trees and up to 25% of winter heating costs from tree windbreaks.
  • Trees increase property value – Each large front yard tree adds about 1% to the resale value of a home. Large specimen trees can add 10% or more.
  • Trees improve air quality -100 mature trees remove about 53 tons of carbon dioxide and about 430 pounds of air pollutants per year.
  • Trees benefit commercial business – Shoppers shop more often and longer in well-landscaped business districts and are willing to pay more for parking and up to 12% more for goods and services.
  • Trees reduce stress – Views of tree-filled landscapes reduce the stress response of both body and mind.
  • Return on investment – Research studies show that for every dollar invested in trees, there is a three to seven dollar return!

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