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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

The state and use of municipal tree inventories in Swedish municipalities - results from a national survey

Ostberg, Johan; Wistrom, Bjorn; Randrup, Thomas B.


Urban trees are an essential component of urban ecosystems, and management of this resource constitutes an essential element of urban open space management. However, municipal tree inventories in Sweden and elsewhere have received limited attention. It is unknown how common municipal tree inventories are in Sweden, factors governing whether a municipality has an inventory and what the inventories are used for. This study therefore sought to: Create an overview of the state of Swedish municipal tree inventories and determine how municipality size, green space budget and management organisation affect the presence and scope of municipal tree inventories. The research questions examined were: What is the current state of Swedish municipal tree inventories? and what affects the status of these municipal tree inventories? A survey with questions related to strategic and operational perspectives of municipal tree inventories, e.g. how they are conducted and used, together with questions relating to budget and potential use of consultants, was sent to all 290 Swedish municipalities. The response rate was 55.5%. The main findings were that municipality size affects whether a municipality has an urban tree inventory and that the municipal organisation form affects how inventories are used. The existence of an inventory also increased the probability of the municipality having a tree management plan. Based on these results we recommend further research related to strategic management perspectives of tree inventories.


Survey; Municipality; Street trees; Park trees; Management; Ecosystem services; Ecosystem disservices

Published in

Urban Ecosystems
2018, Volume: 21, number: 3, pages: 467-477