The Grow tool allows a user to evaluate potential tree canopy goals, future ecosystem benefits, and compare different tree planting and canopy cover scenarios. This tool allows a user to simulate future canopy cover in relationship to planting goals, select geographic areas to add a specific amount of tree canopy cover, adjust average tree size of new plantings, calculate changes in ecosystem services using i-Tree data, save/restore planting scenarios, and print reports with overall results (canopy increase in a city, impacts in each geography, and a map). Using two inputs – canopy % and average tree size at maturity – the tool determines how many trees are needed, what the impact is on canopy cover regionally, and the impact on urban forest ecosystem services. The Grow tool can be used incrementally. For instance, a user can add 10% canopy to one or more areas using trees with 20 foot tree crown diameter and then add 5% canopy to other areas using trees with 30-foot tree crown diameter.
Step 1 – Select a Geography: Select the geographic boundary of interest by using the drop-down menu. The selected geography will be displayed in the map.
Step 2 – Set Grow Method and Quantity: Using the radio buttons, select whether to set canopy using a target canopy percentage or to increase canopy by a specific percentage. Selecting Target Canopy % will add or remove tree canopy from selected areas to reach a target goal. Selecting Increase Canopy By % will add a fixed percentage to the existing canopy level of selected areas. After the grow method is selected, slide the canopy toggle left or right to set the target canopy percentage or percentage to increase canopy by.
Step 3 – Set Average Tree Crown Diameter: Use the toggle to set the average tree crown diameter of newly planted trees in the model. The model is calibrated to estimate 20, 30, or 40-foot tree crown diameters.
Step 4 – Activate the Tool and Select Areas: Activate the Grow tool by toggling the switch next to Paint Canopy Goals from Off to On. Next, add areas to the planting scenario by hovering the cursor over any area in the map and pressing the “G” (Grow) key on the keyboard. Hypothetical canopy percentages and trees needed values are added to the selected areas popups. To remove selected areas from the scenario, press the “R” (Remove) key on the keyboard while hovering the cursor over them.
Step 5 – Review Modeled Tree Canopy: After the grow scenario is complete, scroll down to the Modeled Tree Canopy section to see the scenario’s effect on the overall tree canopy. Below that, a user can view Modeled Ecosystem Benefits. To view a table of the scenario details, select the Detailed Grow Report. Each scenario can be saved and printed.
Step 6 – View Modeled Ecosystem Benefits: TreePlotter CANOPY calculates the monetary value of ecosystem benefits provided by the newly planted trees.
Step 7 – View Detailed Grow Report: To view a table of the scenario details, select the Detailed Grow Report. Each scenario can be saved and printed.
Understanding the Assumptions
Target Canopy %
If wanting to gather data based on the Target Canopy %, you will enter the goal for your area or for the polygons you have selected. By default, a target canopy of 30% will be applied. Depending on the ecological make up of the geographic area, you may set a higher or lower target canopy.
Increase Canopy By %
If wanting to see how many trees you will need to plant based on a percentage you are wishing to Increase Canopy by, you will enter the goal for your area or for the polygons you have selected. By default, a Increase Canopy By 10% will be applied. Depending on the ecological make up of the geographic area, you may set a higher or smaller percentage to Increase Canopy By.
Average Tree Crown Diameter
Average Tree Crown Diameter is the average crown diameter the trees you will be planting. The crown diameter will effect how many trees are able to be planted in a given acreage. If you are planting one species or a number of species, averaging the adult crown diameter will provide a more precise estimate in how many trees will need to be planted to reach the Target Canopy %.
Using this Mortality Rate feature, you can indicate the mortality rate of the trees in your area. TreePlotter will then account for that variable when calculating the number of trees that will need to be planted to reach your Target Canopy % goal. Mortality Rate can vary depending on species, climate, pests and condition of the trees. The Mortality Rate will default to 0%.
Understanding Modeled Tree Canopy
Using the Modeled Tree Canopy section, you can view the current and modeled Urban Tree Canopy % and the Overall Urban Tree Canopy in acres.
The current numbers will outline the Overall Urban Tree Canopy % and the Overall Urban Tree Canopy in acres for your area for the present time.
The modeled numbers will represent the Overall Urban Tree Canopy percent and acres if the desired percentage of Urban Tree Canopy is achieved.
The modeled and current numbers are relative to the entire area in your application.
The dial for the number of trees to plant will be immediately available to determine how many trees will need to be planted to reach the canopy percentage goals.
These numbers are to be used as a guideline. Further field assessments will be needed to determine where to plant these trees and the suitability of those trees for a given area.
Saving a Scenario and Printing Your Reports
In the Detailed Grow Reports section, the scenario you created will populate in the Current Scenario Details. You can print reports, export your data, and save scenarios.
To Save: First, give your scenario a name. Then, click on Save Scenario at the bottom of the section. When you come back to your application, you will see your scenario in the Overall Summary: Saved Scenario section. Click Restore next to the Scenario to view the scenario again.
To Print: Before or after saving, you can Print your scenario by clicking the Print Scenario Button. This button will print out a detailed report to share with colleagues and stakeholders. You can also export your scenario by clicking Export Scenario. This button will export out the data into a CSV format. From there, you can make charts, graphs and other visualizations using excel.