WASHINGTON — The Forest Service’s free mobile software tool, i-Tree 2014, allows homeowners and urban planners to discover the economic and ecological value of their trees.
The i-Tree suite makes it possible for users to analyze individual trees, parcels, neighborhoods, cities, and entire states.
“Urban forests are the lifelines of America’s cities, and we know that in part because of i-Tree,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “i-Tree helps us better understand how urban forests benefit the health of our cities and the people who live in them.”
With the new mobile development, two of i-Tree’s most popular tools, Design and Canopy, have been expanded with new features.
i-Tree’s Design tool works with Google Maps to help users evaluate the benefits of a single tree or multiple trees. It allows users to identify the location, species, and size of trees on the property and get a snapshot of how that tree is benefiting the homeowner today. In the new version, Design also allows homeowners to estimate current benefits and potential future benefits. These include energy savings, pollution removal, and rainfall interception.
One of i-Tree’s most popular tools, Canopy, is used to create quick estimates of tree canopy cover. In the 2014 version, Canopy includes estimates of ecosystem services and values related to carbon sequestration and storage, and pollution removal.
Hydro, one of i-Tree’s most sophisticated tools, estimates tree impacts on stream flow and water quality. With the new version, Hydro’s capabilities have been broadened to city scale analyses. Users will also be able to produce new reports and an executive summary of hydrologic results.
In addition to Design, Canopy and Hydro, i-Tree tools include Eco, Streets, Species and Vue applications.