i-Tree Eco is a software application designed for urban forest assessment. It uses field data from complete inventories or randomly located sample plots, along with hourly air pollution and meteorological data. It quantifies the structure and environmental effects of urban forests (for trees and shrubs) and calculates their value to communities.
User-collected field data
Tables; statistics; reports
i-Tree Eco is a stand alone program no other software required but Microsoft Excel, ArcGIS Desktop with Spatial Analyst Extension (optional) will help with reporting.
How does it work?
i-Tree Eco is one of a suite of i-Tree products developed in the US. i-Tree Eco allows users to collect data on the urban forest and estimate the quantity and economic value of multiple ecosystem services that it provides for the community. This includes information on urban forest structure, air pollution removal, rainfall interception, carbon sequestration and storage, and resource value.
Tree data is collected and entered into the software. A series of scientific algorithms calculate structural and functional information about the value of each tree (if 100% of trees are sampled i.e. a ‘full inventory’) or an estimate for the total tree population (if a ‘sample inventory’ is conducted using plots randomly located throughout the study area).
Key data sources:
Terrestrial, freshwater or marine focus?
- Marine Focus
User Time Requirements:
Existing tree inventories can be run through Eco in a matter of hours. A full city sample project will take around 12 months to complete including project set up right the way through to reporting.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service in cooperation with Davey Tree Expert Company, the Arbor Day Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, the International Society of Arboriculture, and Casey Trees. The UK adaptation was developed by Davey Tree with the support of Forest Research, Treeconomics and the Arboricultural Association.
Detailed data collection and sampling protocols are provided.
There are multiple data collection options including the use of hand-held devices such as smart phones, PDA’s and tablets in addition to standard paper data collection forms.
Users are encouraged to use the mobile web-form system in order to tailor their data collection for the particular needs of their project.
If users are adopting a sample inventory (i.e. using plots across the study area) the sampling design is important (e.g. stratified or simple random). Other factors such as the amount of time, expenditure and land access requirements must also be taken into consideration with the desired project goals. Users are advised to speak with a statistician regarding their sample design if they have specific needs.
Third party reviews/ cross: This tool was reviewed in the 2013 Natural England review of green infrastructure valuation tools carried out by eftec/Cascade (access report here).