A new project has been launched aiming to map every tree in Britain using an online database where members of the public can input tree information. Treezilla collects information from the public on individual trees, including tree species and stem diameter. Once details of a tree have been entered, it estimates the monetary value of the ecosystem the tree provides, including carbon dioxide capture, reduction of flood risk, reducing energy use from buildings and improving air quality. This differs according to location, size and species, and the aim is to create an extensive data set offering a much more accurate picture of the benefits from trees across the UK.
Treezilla is part of the OpenScience Laboratory, an initiative of The Open University and The Wolfson Foundation, developed in partnership with Forest Research and Treeconomics. It is free and open to everyone to use as individuals or local groups. Large inventories of tree data already held by local authorities and institutions can also be uploaded.
Jonathan Silvertown, Professor of Ecology at The Open University, said:
“We know there are 3.8 billion trees in forests and woodlands and another 123 million elsewhere in the countryside, but no overall estimate exists of the number of urban trees, or trees on private estates. Treezilla will help us to get a more accurate picture of
this important resource.”
Tony Hutchings, who leads Forest Research’s Land Regeneration and Urban Greenspace
research programme, explains: “Treezilla provides an excellent resource to use citizen
science to help map and unravel the true value of urban trees. Over the next few years we
will be improving the science behind the system so that we can predict how to maintain
healthy, sustainable and valuable tree populations within the UK’s towns and cities.”
For more information or to log data about trees please visit the Treezilla website. http://www.treezilla.org/