Trees have always been a part of the beauty of our communities, but it can be difficult to put a value on the many other benefits they provide. The U.S. Forest Service has developed a software suite of tools to calculate those values, called i-Tree. This was developed using many years of peer-reviewed research on tree growth and accounts for species, condition, size, and location of trees. I-Tree can calculate the current and future effects of trees in terms of gallons of storm water treatment, kilowatts of energy savings, and air quality benefits, as well as associated cost savings.

These tools can be very useful in dealing with Emerald Ash Borer and other tree diseases. i-Tree can provide the individual value of each new tree to replace the ash trees that have been removed. This tool can also help compare the cost/value of using different species. This is beneficial as we try to re-establish urban trees with a mix of tree species to minimize future pest issues that may arise due to single species planting.

If your want to check out i-Tree and learn more, click here.

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Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. Staff

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