Trees provide Wenatchee with environmental, social, and economic benefits. These benefits are also known as "ecosystem services" and include:
- Filters pollutants and produces oxygen
- Provides shade and moderate temperatures
- Provides refuge and food for wildlife
- Creates desirable living and working places
- Increases property values
- Attracts shoppers and increases business profits
- Controls stormwater runoff and soil erosion
- Decreases heating and cooling costs
These benefits far outweigh the costs when trees are managed through a Community Forestry Program.
The first phase of a Public Property Tree Inventory and Assessment Report for Wenatchee was completed in 2008 through the receipt of a Department of Natural Resources Community Forestry Assistance grant. All public trees located in City parks, the cemetery, and along streets in the downtown core are now catalogued for location, species, and health. A second inventory phase is anticipated to occur in the future and will include all trees in public right-of-ways. This forms the cornerstone of a long-term Community Forestry Management Program.
An inventory of 1021 trees was conducted within 11 parks and the downtown core. Trees were assessed for risk mitigation and maintenance needs. Management requirements were designated and priority for action was provided for each tree based on the risk assessment, mitigation needs, and return-of-cost investment. Each tree was provided with a tree risk rating using the Tree Risk Assessment method.
Using the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers’ (CTLA) Guide for Plant Appraisal, 9th edition, the total appraised value for the public trees inventoried is calculated to be $6,550,600.