Wednesday, June 16, 2010

i-Tree ECO, STORM, VUE, Species, Hydro

Today was day two of the i-Tree conference. Topics covered were ECO, STORMS, Hydro, Vue, and Species. Francisco Escobedo from the University of Florida led the discussion about i-Tree ECO. i-Tree ECO works to calculate the ecological benefits of an area. The best way to use the application is to find an area and pick 200 random points. Each plot is about .1 acre circle with a 37'2'' radius. Then it is necessary to go out and find the mid-point of all the plots and record measurements. In order to measure the energy effects all trees taller than 20ft within 60ft of a residential building have to be measured, this collects information about the shade and the reduced energy cost. Information about DBH, height, location, crown size, die back, ground cover is necessary to collect. Once all the data is entered it is then sent to Syracuse to UFORE for reports to be created. Individual trees can also be recorded, which reduces the need for random plots and allows for information about trees in parks and yards to be collected unlike in STREETS. Chris Donnelly from the CT DEP spoke about his first hand knowledge with UFOR and his application of the program in Hartford, CT.

i-Tree STORMS is used to create an easy and accurate estimate of the potential tree storm damage and the total cost for recovery. Pre-Storm Sample Surveys need to be conducted of 2-3% of the mileage. Data about tree density and size class for all trees within the Right of Way (ROW) and 50ft back. Once all the pre-storm data is collect, after a storm hits assessments can be made, put into the model and within 24-36 hours of the original storm an estimate for the total cost of recovery is created.

We also learned about other i-Tree utilities and applications such as Hydro, i-Tree Vue and i-Tree Species.

Overall I learned a lot and it sparked a lot of really cool potential project ideas. Now it's back to one more week of tree planting!

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