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i-Tree 2018 Updates Provide an Even Closer Look at Benefits of Urban Forests

These trees are part of a research plot in Philadelphia, where  i-Tree Eco is being used to assess the urban forest. Photo by Lara Roman, USDA Forest Service Newtown Square, PA, November 16, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service announced the latest updates to i-Tree today at the Arbor Day Foundation Partners in Community Forestry Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. i-Tree (http://www.itreetools.org/) is a suite of freely available tools that helps everyone from land managers to homeowners assess how trees  enhance environmental quality and human health.

i-Tree tools can be used to quantify benefits such as reducing air pollution and ultraviolet radiation and providing carbon sequestration, stormwater control and more. Users can access information about tree health and environmental risks to trees, including potential for damage by storms, wildfires, air temperatures, air pollution and more. i-Tree also covers aspects of bird habitat management and promotion of species.  

“Northern Research Station science is adding to our knowledge of the myriad ways trees contribute to human health and environmental quality,” said Tony Ferguson, Director of the Northern Research Station and Forest Products Laboratory. “i-Tree Tools is an outstanding example of how the Forest Service works with partners to translate research into tools that meet the needs of land managers in U.S. communities and throughout the globe.”

New features of i-Tree 2018 include:

  • i-Tree Landscape: More than 150 new map layers have been added to help prioritize areas where it would be helpful to plant or protect trees to maximize benefits and minimize risks:

    • Land surface temperatures

    • Climate change projections

    • Composition and sizes of forest species

    • Air quality

    • Wildland-urban interfaces

    • Plant hardiness zones

    • Insects and diseases

    • Future ozone concentrations

  • i-Tree Database: i-Tree Database is a new tool that allows international users to submit data about their local trees using i-Tree Eco.

  • i-Tree web apps: New mobile-friendly apps allow users to estimate the benefits and values of individual trees (MyTree) or long-term benefits and values from tree planting efforts (i-Tree Planting Calculator). Other apps include i-Tree Species, which helps in selecting the best species for desired benefits and i-Tree Harvest Carbon Calculator, which estimates the amount of carbon stored in harvested wood products.

“By understanding local urban forest composition and forces of change, plans for urban forest management can be developed to sustain healthy and functional urban forests for future generations,” said David Nowak, a research forester with the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and co-creator of i-Tree.

i-Tree was introduced in 2006. Since then it has grown to include over 184,000 users in 130 countries around the world. “The ability to put a value on our urban forests provides not only environmental awareness, but promotes community stewardship and better decision making,” according to i-Tree co-creator Scott Maco of Davey Tree Expert Company.

The Forest Service developed i-Tree with Davey Tree Expert Company and other private industry groups, professional associations, non-profit groups, and universities. 

The Forest Service has also worked with partners to develop i-Tree support resources to help people to better use the suite of tools, including manuals and workshops, video instructions and archived webinars, and examples of how others have successfully used i-Tree tools.

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The mission of the Northern Research Station is to improve people's lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

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The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains world-renowned forestry research and wildland fire management organizations. National forests and grasslands contribute more than $30 billion to the American economy annually and support nearly 360,000 jobs. These lands also provide 30 percent of the nation's surface drinking water to cities and rural communities; approximately 60 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).


Last modified: November 16, 2017