TREECONOMICS has announced the launch of a new online tool ­— the Urban Forest Webmap.

The Webmap displays the composition and values of a city’s urban forest for the people who live and work there.

Its aim is to provide an overview of a city’s trees, and to reveal the ecosystem services they are providing. It is interactive, and displays the results in a way that the non-arboricultural community can understand. Residents can see how much air pollution their trees are removing, how much storm water is being diverted, how much carbon is being stored, percentage canopy cover, the general condition of their trees, top species, and the amenity value of the trees.

The site also shows potential plantable space, and it is hoped that historical tree cover and tree canopy goals will be added soon.

In 2019, the Webmap was piloted in the London Borough of Islington, to complement an i-Tree Canopy and an i-Tree Eco Survey that Treeconomics had undertaken there. Using Bluesky aerial data, Treeconomics was able to analyse the canopy cover across each of the 16 wards in Islington, and using i-Tree Eco, was then able to quantify the ecosystem benefits of these trees.

The resulting Webmap showed the total economic benefit of Islington’s trees was measured to be circa £600,000 every year. As a result, Islington was able to secure an extra £120,000 of funding from local government, for tree planting.

Jon Ryan, arboricultural manager for Islington’s Tree Services team, said: “As a result of the i-Tree studies and Webmap, the Borough was able to obtain political support and a substantial amount of funding for the planting and maintenance of new trees. It’s great to see the results graphically rather than trying to tease the results out of data.”

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