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Review: street tree valuation systems

Home Research Review: street tree valuation systems

What is the best way to assess how local people and the economy benefit from street trees?


Local authorities have a duty to protect trees that are considered to be in the public’s interest, but there are several methodologies for estimating their amenity value. Forest Research conducted a literature and methodological review of three different valuation systems: ‘Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees’ (CAVAT), Helliwell and i-Tree (originated in the United States).

Key findings

  • i-Tree
    Free, non-proprietary, open-source system
    Strong emphasis on assessing economic and environmental annual benefits
    Covers the social and cultural component of value
    Significant advantages of flexibility, detailed output and allowing a wide range of benefits to be assessed, provided data is available
    Meets the needs of small communities and large city metropolitan areas.
    Considers the value of a tree over its remaining expected lifetime
    Covers social and cultural issues
    Simpler to implement if data is limited
  • Helliwell
    Emphasis on visual amenity
    Generates the most variable valuation outcomes
    Best suited to single tree and small-scale community evaluations, but can also handle urban woodlands


Report – Street tree valuation systems research note

Project summary sheet

Funders and partners

Commissioned and funded by the Forestry Commission


The project was completed in 2008.


Vadim Saraev

Related pages

Research Status
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