i-Tree Eco Edinburgh

About i-Tree Eco Edinburgh

An i-Tree Eco survey was was undertaken in summer 2013, updated in 2016, to value a number of ecosystem services provided by Edinburgh’s trees. The study was funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and Forestry Commission Scotland and was carried out by Forest Research. 

The ecosystem services provided by Edinburgh’s urban trees were estimated to have a value of £1.82 million per year. 

The ecosystem services valued were: carbon capture, rainwater interception and the removal of air pollution. The socio-cultural value of the trees was also determined.

 Specifically, this project aimed to: 

  • Identify the species composition, age-size class and health of Edinburgh’s urban forest
  • Calculate the ecosystem services they provide
  • Determine the land-use type(s) where more trees could be planted
  • Conduct a risk analysis of the susceptibility of Edinburgh’s urban forest to pests and diseases

 This study demonstrates the value that the urban forest provides to all who live or work in, or whom visit Edinburgh. Key findings of the study include:

  • Edinburgh has over 712,000 trees, resulting in an average urban tree density of 62 trees per hectare
  • Edinburgh has a 17% urban tree cover, equal to an area of 1,950 ha
  • The trees were primarily found in residential land, parks and on institutional land.
  • The urban forest includes 50 tree and shrub species, recorded across 8 land use categories
  • Sycamore, Holly and Silver birch are the top three tree species.

For further details and results see:

Valuing the ecosystem services provided by urban trees in Edinburgh” 2-page summary, or the
“Valuing urban trees in Edinburgh” full report

Related research 


Kieron Doick

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