Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Saturday, March 12, 2016



Whitehorse, Yukon
In Toronto, researchers recently found that people living on tree-lined streetsreported health benefits equivalent to being seven years younger or receiving a $10,000 salary rise. As well as studies revealing benefits from everything from improved mental health to reduced asthma, US scientists have even identified a correlation between an increase in tree-canopy cover and fewer low-weight births. And economic studies show what any estate agent swears by: leafy streets sell houses. Street trees in Portland, Oregon, yielded an increase in house pricesof $1.35bn, potentially increasing annual property tax revenues by $15.3m.
Williams Lake
In London, an innovative survey will reveal the economic value of the capital’s “urban forest” – its estimated 8m trees. A suite of open-source software developed in the US called i-Tree maps city trees and calculates the financial value of the “ecosystem services” they provide. While street trees are a visible green stamp on a city, 70% of the “urban forest” is found in private gardens and places such as railway embankments, cemeteries and golf courses. i-Tree measures them all and, crucially, calculates tree canopy cover. It’s all then given a hard-headed financial value based on the carbon they store, the air pollution they remove, the rainwater they hold (allowing it to be re-evaporated by the sun rather than disappearing into drains and sewers) and how they ameliorate extreme temperatures. Trees that are close to buildings reduce air conditioning in summer, and even heating bills in winter – small effects that become extremely valuable in a big city.
The software has been deployed in European cities including Edinburgh, Barcelona and Strasbourg. Torbay in Devon was the first British council to trial it: the English Riviera resort famed for its palms discovered that its trees (mostly ash) stored 98,000 tonnes of carbon and removed 50 tonnes of air pollution each year - the equivalent of taking 52,000 family cars off the road. i-Tree showed that Torbay trees’ carbon storage was worth £1.5m, their pollution removal £1.3m, and the cost to replace them would be £280m. These facts helped the council’s tree officer win more funding for planting and maintaining its trees.



What is i-Tree?

i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree Tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the structure of community trees and the environmental services that trees provide.
Since the initial release of the i-Tree Tools in August 2006, numerous communities, non-profit organizations, consultants, volunteers and students have used i-Tree to report on individual trees, parcels, neighborhoods, cities, and even entire states. By understanding the local, tangible ecosystem services that trees provide, i-Tree users can link urban forest management activities with environmental quality and community livability. Whether your interest is a single tree or an entire forest, i-Tree provides baseline data that you can use to demonstrate value and set priorities for more effective decision-making.
i-Tree Tools are in the public domain and are freely accessible. We invite you to explore this site to learn more about how i-Tree can make a difference in your community.

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