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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 33, Issue 3 — May 2007

Oxygen Production by Urban Trees in the United States    (View PDF)

David J. Nowak, Robert Hoehn, and Daniel E. Crane

Abstract: Urban forests in the coterminous United States are estimated to produce 61 million metric tons (67 million tons) of oxygen annually, enough oxygen to offset the annual oxygen consumption of approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population. Although oxygen production is often cited as a significant benefit of trees, this benefit is relatively insignificant and of negligible value as a result of the large oxygen content of the atmosphere. Other benefits of the urban forest are more critical to environmental quality and human health than oxygen production by urban trees.

Keywords: Air quality; environmental quality; tree benefits; urban forests.

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