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Doctoral thesis, 2013

Tree inventories in the urban environment

Östberg, Johan


Urban tree inventories are being employed to an increasing extent by a diverse group of users for a wide range of applications. This has resulted in large numbers of different parameters being recorded and a variety of methods being used by researchers and practitioners. Despite this, the potential of comparative studies has not been fully realised and there is a lack of understanding on how to link research objectives with choice of parameters and methods. This thesis therefore sought to support the development of a common framework that can facilitate synergies between different groups that use and/or collect data on individual urban trees. The common framework was developed through comparative analyses linking objectives, choice of tree inventory methods, and parameters to collect at single tree level. Based on this a typology of contemporary urban tree inventory methods for data collection at single tree level is presented followed by a standard list of tree inventory parameters to include in urban tree inventories developed in a Delphi study with participation of academics, arborists, and city officials. The Delphi study revealed possible synergy effects between these stakeholder groups. Examination of the use of existing tree inventory databases resulted in a list of species that have caused root intrusion and a species distribution analysis of 10 major cities in the Nordic countries. These results can be used to make tree inventories comparable and to show how existing databases can be used to gain new knowledge, both for researchers and practitioners.


Root intrusion; species distribution; Delphi study; tree inventory parameters; typology; native; exotic; street trees; urban forest; practitioners; urban forestry

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2013, number: 2013:29
ISBN: 9789157677976
Publisher: Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences