San Francisco Department of the Environment

Search form

Urban Forest Effects Study

In 2006 SFE and the Urban Forestry Council partnered with the USDA’s Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics Program, Urban Ecosystem Processes Team, formerly the Center for Urban Forest Research (CUFR), to conduct the UFORE, or Urban Forest Effects model study. This study gathered on-the-ground data from sample plots, which were then used to extrapolate information on overall urban forest value and ecological services.  It provides reporting on trees within several land use types and includes information on pollution removal, the urban forest’s effect on volatile organic compound emissions, carbon sequestration and storage, the effect of trees on adjacent building energy loads, and the compensatory value of the trees themselves along with the value of the ecosystems services they provide.

Some highlights:

  • San Francisco has approximately 669,000 trees total.
  • Blue Gum, Monterey Pine, and Monterey Cypress are the most common tree species.
  • More than half of the trees in San Francisco are small, with a trunk diameter of 6” or less.
  • San Francisco’s trees remove 260 tons of pollution a year ($1.3 million/year), have a total carbon storage of 196,000 tons ($3.6 million), sequester 5,200 tons of carbon a year ($95,000/year), and have a structural value of value of $1.7 billion

Additional Resources


Our home. Our city. Our planet.