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Research article2021Peer reviewed

Plant and Wood Area Index of Solitary Trees for Urban Contexts in Nordic Cities

Deak Sjöman, Johanna; Hirons, Andrew; Bassuk, Nina L; Sjöman, Henrik


Background: We present the plant area index (PAI) measurements taken for 63 deciduous broadleaved tree species and 1 deciduous conifer tree species suitable for urban areas in Nordic cities. The aim was to evaluate PAI and wood area index (WAI) of solitary-grown broadleaved tree species and cultivars of the same age in order to present a data resource of individual tree characteristics viewed in summer (PAI) and in winter (WAI). Methods: All trees were planted as individuals in 2001 at the Hørsholm Arboretum in Denmark. The field method included a Digital Plant Canopy Imager where each scan and contrast values were set to consistent values. Results: The results illustrate that solitary trees differ widely in their WAI and PAI and reflect the integrated effects of leaf material and the woody component of tree crowns. The indications also show highly significant (P < 0.001) differences between species and genotypes. The WAI had an overall mean of 0.91 (± 0.03), ranging from Tilia platyphyllos ‘Orebro’ with a WAI of 0.32 (± 0.04) to Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’ with a WAI of 1.94 (± 0.09). The lowest mean PAI in the data set was Fraxinus angustifolia ‘Raywood’ with a PAI of 1.93 (± 0.05), whereas Acer campestre ‘Kuglennar’ represents the cultivar with the largest PAI of 8.15 (± 0.14). Conclusions: Understanding how this variation in crown architectural structure changes over the year can be applied to climate responsive design and microclimate modeling where plant and wood area index of solitary-grown trees in urban contexts are of interest.


Climate Responsive Design; Leaf Area Index (LAI); Plant Area Index (PAI); Solitary Trees; Urban Forest Wood Area Index (WAI); Urban Trees

Published in

Arboriculture and urban forestry
2021, Volume: 47, number: 6, pages: 252-266