i-Tree Eco is a software application designed to use field
data from complete inventories or randomly located plots throughout a
community along with local hourly air pollution and meteorological data
to quantify urban forest structure, environmental effects, and value to
communities. Baseline data can be used for making effective resource
management decisions, develop policy and set priorities.
The first steps in creating an Eco project are:
Complete Inventory Projects
Setting up Eco projects for a complete inventory of trees is
relatively straightforward. These projects do not need to establish ground
plots as do sample inventories. Projects that are typically suited for the Eco complete
inventory option are associated with discrete public or private properties
such as corporate campuses, parks, apartment complexes, individual homes or
Sample Inventory Projects
Eco sampling projects are typically used where the designated study area
is too large to cost-effectively inventory the entire tree population.
Sampling projects obtain estimates of the characteristics and benefits of a
study area from a series of pre-selected sample plots. Such projects usually
require project setup that can include characterization of land use and
random selection of plot locations in a city using aerial photography.
Detailed specifications on setting up a project and carrying out field data collection can be found in the Eco Manual. Persons considering their own Eco projects should be aware that the program requires specific types and amounts of data to accurately project the structure and benefits of urban vegetation. The validity of results from Eco, in part, will depend on how closely the user adheres to project setup and sampling protocols.
Who is using Eco?
i-Tree Eco has been used by hundreds of users in the United States and internationally. Users interested in using i-Tree Eco abroad should visit the Eco International page to learn more. See the Eco user map for a distribution of Eco projects completed around the world.
i-Tree Eco is an adaptation of the Urban Forest Effects (UFORE) model, which was cooperatively developed by US Forest Service Northern Research Station (NRS), the USDA State and Private Forestry's Urban and Community Forestry Program and Northeastern Area, the Davey Tree Expert Company, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The UFORE model was conceived and developed by David J. Nowak and Daniel E. Crane (USFS, NRS), and Patrick McHale (SUNY-ESF). The UFORE software was designed and developed by Daniel E. Crane and its graphical user interface (GUI) by Lianghu Tian and Mike Binkley (The Davey Institute). Many individuals contributed to the design and development process of UFORE application including Mike Binkley (The Davey Institute), Jaewon Choi (SUNY-ESF), Daniel E. Crane (NRS), Greg Ina (The Davey Institute), Robert E. Hoehn (NRS), Jerry Bond and Christopher J. Luley (Urban Forestry LLC), Patrick McHale (SUNY-ESF), David J. Nowak (NRS), Jack C. Stevens (NRS), Lianghu Tian (The Davey Institute), Jeffrey T. Walton (Paul Smiths College), and Robert Sacks (Bluejay Software). Revisions for i-Tree Eco versions were carried out by members of The Davey Institute, including Lianghu Tian, Michael Kerr, Al Zelaya, Scott Maco, and Mike Binkley based on input and newly available research from NRS and feedback from i-Tree users.