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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Comparing ground and remotely sensed measurements of urban tree canopy in private residential property

Klobucar, Blaz; Sang, Neil; Randrup, Thomas B.


Private residential areas represent a large portion of urban tree canopy and provide a significant amount of ecosystem services for mitigation of negative environmental impacts. With densification, construction of impermeable surfaces, loss of plantable space and urban tree canopy loss, communities are facing a potential degradation of urban environment and loss of living quality. Monitoring urban tree canopy change with repeated assessments over time is key for supplying information for management decisions. We examined how remote sensing has been used in the past assessments of urban tree canopy area, the public availability and quality of geodata sources and grey literature examples. Field measurements of tree canopy area were collected in private residential properties in Malmö, Sweden and compared to estimates of canopy area using remote sensing data collected by the public mapping agency ‘Lantmäteriet’. The remote sensing model was derived using normalized difference in vegetation (NDVI) and LiDAR. Most Swedish municipalities conduct urban tree monitoring schemes only on street and park trees. Our results show a correlation in remotely sensed tree canopy area and field measurements, suggesting that monitoring of private residential areas can be conducted frequently and non-invasively where remote sensing information of similar quality is available.


Urban forestry; Urban tree canopy; Remote sensing; Monitoring; Urban trees

Published in

Trees, Forests and People
2021, Volume: 5, article number: 100114