This project aims to facilitate the use of i-Tree Eco in the UK. i-Tree Eco is a software application to quantify the structure and environmental effects of urban trees, and calculate their value to society. Data from an i-Tree Eco survey can be used for making effective resource management decisions, develop policy and set priorities for a town’s trees and greenspaces.
Forest Research have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Treeconomics and the Arboricultural association to deliver the “i-Tree UK” project, which has four main objectives:
- manage a development strategy for i-Tree tools in the UK
- collate and store data from i-Tree studies undertaken in the UK
- gather and share information about the value of the UK’s urban trees
- promote i-Tree in the UK and help other organisations and individuals to make maximum use of i-Tree study data and reports.
Together, we are working with the i-Tree Cooperative to develop full functionality of i-Tree Eco within the UK and facilitate its use and uptake by UK users.
The i-Tree Cooperative comprises the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, Davey Tree Expert Company, International Society of Arboriculture, Society of Municipal Arborists, Arbor Day Foundation, and Casey Trees.
Our work is focussed around:
- Working with Treeconomics and the Arboricultural to deliver the “i-Tree UK” project
- Working with Treeconomics to deliver i-Tree Eco surveys to parks, highways, towns, cities and community forests within the UK
- Supporting individuals, charities and small organisations to deliver their own i-Tree surveys in the UK
- Undertake scientific studies to test and improve the assumptions and calculations contained within the i-Tree Eco model
Results so far
- Project partners in the delivery of the UK’s first i-Tree Eco study in Torbay
- Delivery of the i-Tree Eco studies for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Wrexham, Swansea and Tawe Catchment, and Bridgend
- Project partners in i-Tree in London
The programme started in 2013 and the current phase of work will run until 2015. The next phase of work will begin in 2015 and run until 2019.
Funders and partners
This work is funded by the Forestry Commission
Forestry Commission policy
Climate change represents a significant threat to urban infrastructure, environmental quality and the health of city dwellers. Green infrastructure is itself at risk through greater extremes in temperature fluctuation, consequent flourishing of tree pests and diseases, drought and perceived increased risk of subsidence leading to tree removal.
There is no clear system for determining the biophysical interactions, benefits, or managing potential trade-offs within a risk-benefit context, so as to optimally support the protection and sustainable regeneration of UK towns and cities. The Urban Trees and Greenspace in a Changing Climate Programme intends to develop such a system through consolidating and building upon existing work to provide the evidence base for urban trees, definition and communication of best practice guidance, and robust assessment, evaluation and dissemination tools so that the risks and benefits of urban tree placement can be more fully assessed by society, policy makers and planners.
The Programme also maintains the centre of excellence which FR has developed over several decades on land regeneration practices to establish and maintain urban greenspaces on former brownfield and contaminated sites.