Valuing Ealing’s Urban Trees

In 2017, Ealing Council partnered with Treeconomics, Trees for Cities, Forestry Commission, Forest Research and the Greater London Authority to deliver London’s first borough-level i-Tree Eco project.

An unstratified i-Tree Eco study was carried out with 215 randomly allocated tenth of an acre plots across the Borough. Data was collected by 35 trained volunteers led by arboricultural professionals, throughout July. This assessment provided a quantitative baseline of the air pollution removal, carbon storage, carbon sequestration, stormwater benefits, and amenity value of the entire tree resource in Ealing, accounting for the trees on both private and public land.

It aimed to build on the London i-Tree assessment by serving as the most extensive urban tree survey carried out in a London borough to date, providing the information and recommendations necessary for long-term integrated and planned management of Ealing’s urban forest.

The study determined that Ealing’s urban trees remove a total of 33 tonnes of pollutants per annum, a service valued at £952,000. The problems caused by poor air quality are well known and particularly prevalent within cities – ranging from human health impacts, to damage to buildings, and smog. Trees make a significant contribution to improving air quality by reducing air temperature (thereby lowering ozone), directly removing pollutants from the air, absorbing them through the lead surfaces and by intercepting particulate matter (e.g. smoke, pollen, ash and dusts).

Ealing’s urban forest was also revealed to remove as much as 2,250 tonnes of carbon dioxide via carbon sequestration per annum, valued at £527,000, and to store as much as 76,670 tonnes of carbon. The latter service was valued at an astonishing £4,890,000.

Total annual benefits of Ealing’s tree population were valued at £1.6 million.

This report should act as a rallying call to all those who want to protect and enhance Ealing’s tree cover. It is not just a distinctive feature of the borough, but also enhances the quality of life of residents, provides genuine health and environmental benefits and represents a key part of what makes Ealing a great place to live and work.”Julian Bell of Ealing Council