What is the best way to assess how local people and the economy benefit from street trees?
Local authorities have a duty to protect trees that are considered to be in the public’s interest, but there are several methodologies for estimating their amenity value. Forest Research conducted a literature and methodological review of three different valuation systems: ‘Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees’ (CAVAT), Helliwell and i-Tree (originated in the United States).
Free, non-proprietary, open-source system
Strong emphasis on assessing economic and environmental annual benefits
Covers the social and cultural component of value
Significant advantages of flexibility, detailed output and allowing a wide range of benefits to be assessed, provided data is available
Meets the needs of small communities and large city metropolitan areas.
Considers the value of a tree over its remaining expected lifetime
Covers social and cultural issues
Simpler to implement if data is limited
Emphasis on visual amenity
Generates the most variable valuation outcomes
Best suited to single tree and small-scale community evaluations, but can also handle urban woodlands
Funders and partners
Commissioned and funded by the Forestry Commission
The project was completed in 2008.