i-Tree Eco

 

What is i-Tree Eco?

i-Tree is a suite of open source, peer-reviewed and continuously improved software tools developed by the USDA Forest Service and collaborators to help urban foresters and planners assess and manage urban tree populations and the benefits they can provide.

i-Tree Eco is just one of the tools in the i-Tree suite.

i-Tree Eco is designed to:

Characterise the structure of the tree population,
Quantify tree benefits such as air quality improvement, carbon dioxide reduction, and stormwater control
Assess the value of the annual benefits derived from these functions as well as the estimated worth of each tree as it exists in the landscape.

i-Tree Eco is adaptable to multiple scales from a single tree to area-wide assessments.

Who uses i-Tree Eco in the UK?

Following its widespread adoption in the US and other countries, Treeconomics and Forest Research worked with the US i-Tree team to trial and proof i-Tree Eco in Torbay in 2011. Treeconomics and Forest Research have since signed a MoU with the US i-Tree Team and the Arboricultural Association to develop and support i-Tree Eco for the UK.

As a result, a wide range of stakeholders has now successfully used i-Tree Eco, including:

Local authorities, such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Swansea, Wrexham
Business Improvements Districts (BIDs), such as the London Victoria
Large land asset-owning agencies, such as Highways England
Community groups, such as the Sidmouth Arboretum
Design team working on new developments, such landscape architect JL Gibbons working on Taylor Wimpey’s Chobham Manor development in East London

What do users get out of of it?

A comprehensive understanding of the tree population within the study area –The i-Tree data collection protocol ensures that findings are representative of the whole tree population regardless of ownership. The data collected provides a thorough understanding of structure of the urban forest such as canopy cover, species importance rankings, available planting space, species composition and age distribution.

A basis for evidence-led, strategic planning and management of the urban forest and associated benefits – including best practices such as:

Strategic management of risks – i-Tree Eco provides information on management concerns such as tree health, diversity, infrastructure conflicts and potential impact of pests such as gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, and Chalara fraxinea.
Strategic approach to planting – The canopy cover and age distribution information i-Tree Eco provides enables the development of achievable canopy cover targets to be reflected in policy and practice, ensuring investments are directed to areas that experience the greatest needs.

Robust financial planning – The value assessment i-Tree Eco provides enables adherence to asset management good practice for financial planning, thereby allocating resource for investment based on needs and in commensurate amount to the asset value.

Benchmarking and monitoring – The figures i-Tree provide are standardised, thus making it easy to carry year-on-year comparison and to benchmark with other tree populations / areas.

A Compelling set of key facts for Advocacy – i-Tree provides the information needed to develop strong headlines and a common language on the relevance of trees – allowing to communicate more effectively and engage new audiences.

 

What added value does Treeconomics bring?

We bring an unparalleled expertise in the UK for conducting and making the most of an i-Tree Eco study. This added value includes:
Advice on scoping and data stratification – ensuring your findings are both robust and adequate to local needs and opportunities (eg planning policy).
Training and quality control – we can provide the training and QA of the field data.
Reporting – Data doesn’t make information! Treeconomics can turn standard i-Tree datasets and report into informative briefings.
Management planning – Information doesn’t make action! Treeconomics can support or lead the design of management plans, providing an effective and prioritised framework of action.

For further information on i-Tree visit www.itreetools.org

If you would like to be involved and/or contribute, please contact Kenton Rogers at Treeconomics by emailing