Texas Drought Kills Millions of Urban Shade Trees
An estimated 5.6 million urban shade trees died in Texas as a result of last year’s extreme drought, according to a study by the Texas Forest Service. The study focuses on the mortality of trees in the urban forest—in parks, streets, and yards. The results are preliminary and conservative because as the drought persists, trees will continue to die. The study also estimates the cost to remove the dead trees at $560 million, and the estimated loss of economic and environmental benefits that the trees provided—such as cleaning the air and cutting cooling bills—at $280 million per year.