The 'i-Tree UK Project'
This project (involving Forest Research, Treeconomics and the Arboricultural Association) is working with the i-Tree Cooperative (US partners) to develop i-Tree Eco within the UK.The aim is to have a fully-functioning version of the software, facilitating its use in the UK: this was fully achieved through the release of i-Tree Eco version 6 in 2016. Examples of i-Tree Eco projects conducted in the UK are provided below:
One of the largest i-Tree projects, with 724 plots surveyed by over 400 volunteers, London i-Tree Eco was used to provide a baseline value on which to monitor progress and set future goals. In 2014, London had over 8.4 million trees. These trees stored 2.4 million tonnes of carbon (£146.9m) and sequester 77,000 tonnes/yr (£4.79m/yr). They remove 2241 tonnes of pollution (£126.1m/yr), reduce 3.5 million cubic meters of storm water runoff (£2.8m/yr) and save energy in buildings worth more than £260,000/yr. This information will allow for informed decisions about forest management, including the investments needed to improve the health of London's environment and people.
This project used 200 random plots and recorded 898 trees. Glasgow has an above average tree density (112/ha) and many large trees, but there is a lack of medium-sized trees which presents a potential future risk. Trees store £40m of carbon and remove 9,000 tonnes of carbon every year; enough to offset 177% of CO2 emissions from Glasgow's cars. Trees provide £1.4m in air quality health benefits and reduce sewerage costs by £1.1m. Oak and ash disease threaten 17% of the tree population and urban regeneration poses a threat as many trees are on vacant land. 32% of urban space could be planted with a diverse range of species to reduce disease risk and increase the ES benefits.
This project used 202 random plots and recorded 764 trees. Key findings were that in Wrexham, most of the trees were in parks and 80% are healthy. These trees provide ecosystem services worth £1.44 million every year. Oak and ash disease threaten 11% of the tree population and the cost of replacing the trees if lost would be £900m. Canopy cover is 17% but this could be increased to 28%. Subsequent to the i-Tree Eco study, Wrexham County Borough Council adopted a new urban forest management strategy, which included a target to increase canopy cover to 20%.
Other studies in the i-Tree UK Project include Edinburgh, Bridgend, the Tawe Catchment, Torbay, Petersfield, Burton, Southampton, Oldham, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield, Sidmouth, Plymouth for a full list please see https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/research/i-tree-eco/i-tree-eco-projects-completed/ and https://www.treeconomics.co.uk/