i-Tree Research Suite

Oct. 14, 2020

Research Suite overview


The i-Tree Research Suite offers peer-reviewed environmental models for technical experts. These models simulate the environmental effects of trees and other landscape attributes, to quantify tree benefits and to aid in land management and forest advocacy. These models are part of the research & development generating results for core i-Tree Suite tools. Visit the Core Tools listing for more user-friendly tools that make ecosystem services science accessible to broad audiences.

i-Tree Research Suite tools do not come with the technical support offered with core tools in the i-Tree Suite. Research Suite programs exist in a technical and academic environment, and accordingly they may seem esoteric to non-specialists. Research Suite tools come with a minimal user interface (often run from a command-line interface) and technical documentation (generally an R&D manual and scholarly articles). Use of the i-Tree Research Suite code indicates acceptance of the EULA.

For a video introduction to the i-Tree Research Suite, please explore the following Video Learning resource:

Index of Research Suite Tools

The following tools comprise the i-Tree Research Suite, informing the core tools to disseminate ecosystem service science to broad audiences. Tools in this list that have links to their own page are developed and documented sufficiently for use by technical experts. Tools in earlier stages of R&D may appear on this list but without a link to additional information at this time.

If you have questions about any of these tools, please do not contact i-Tree support. Instead, please reach out to the corresponding researcher listed on each Research Suite tool's page.

  • i-Tree Buffer: a nutrient hotspot mapping tool coded in Python, based on a contributing area dispersal area (CADA) nonpoint-source (NPS) water quality model (Stephan & Endreny, 2016).
  • i-Tree Energy: a building energy balance model coded in Python, mechanistically simulating the heating and cooling energy savings benefits for buildings with nearby trees (DeMarco & Endreny, forthcoming).
  • i-Tree Hydro+: a unified C++ codebase for various environmental models that share common algorithms.
    • i-Tree Hydro (semi-distributed and fully-distributed versions): a hydrology model simulating the effects of land cover changes on water quantity and quality, unique in explicitly modeling vegetation processes (Wang et al., 2008). This is the model used by the i-Tree Hydro graphical user interface (GUI) included in the i-Tree Suite, with Hydro+ and Hydro being synchronized at Hydro version 6.3.
    • i-Tree Cool Air (fully-distributed): an air temperature model simulating the effects of land cover changes using i-Tree Hydro's water budget and an energy budget that explicitly accounts for vegetation processes (Yang et al., 2013).
    • i-Tree Cool River: a river temperature model for simulating the effects of channel morphology, riparian shading, tributaries, stormwater inflow, groundwater mixing, and river restoration by using a set of 1D advection, dispersion, and energy flux equations (Abdi & Endreny, 2019).
  • Tree Compensation Calculator: data tables and a calculator to estimate the number of trees (or monetary value) needed to compensate for the loss of a healthy tree of any size (Nowak & Aevermann, 2019).