By Rich Christianson

According to the National Tree Benefit Calculator the 75-inch-diameter American sycamore tree gracing parkway of my northside Chicago home — and flooding my gutters each fall with leaves — “provides overall benefits of $371 every year.”

The Beta test calculator was conceived and developed by Casey Trees and Davey Tree Expert Co. According to the website, “The Tree Benefit Calculator allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits individual street-side trees provide. This tool is based on i-Tree’s street tree assessment tool called STREETS. With inputs of location, species and tree size, users will get an understanding of the environmental and economic value trees provide on an annual basis.”

According to the calculator, my sycamore generates $99 more in annual benefits than the silver maple I grew up with in Chicago’s southwest suburbs, but $61 less than my neighbor’s oak tree. 

Here’s a snapshot that breaks down my sycamore’s value.

You can calculate your tree’s benefits here: But you better hurry, according to the website, the calculator will be discontinued at the end of this year.