Dought In Texas — $280 Million a Year from Lost Shade Trees

Texas is heading the way of the Sahara.  Even with recent rains, the drought has been so long and so fierce that the shape of life is in full shift.  This from StateImpact, a project of Texas NPR

A new study from the Texas Forest Service has bad news about the trees in your neighborhood. They estimate that 5.6 million trees in the urban areas of Texas –  those leafy providers of shade around your home and dotting your parks – are now dead. This number could be up to ten percent of the urban trees in Texas. (A separate study late last year of forest trees in non-urban areas said that 500 million of those could be dead due to the drought.)

… removing the dead trees (a safety hazard) will be costly, with an estimate of $560 million. The Forest Service also says the lost economic benefit of the trees (in the form of energy lost because the trees are no longer cooling homes, cleaning air and water, and keeping property values higher) is $280 million a year.