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U.S. Forest Service Research

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Data Extent

Urban tree database

This data publication contains urban tree growth data collected over a period of 14 years (1998-2012) in 17 cities from 13 states across the United States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and South Carolina.

Measurements were taken on over 14,000 urban street and park trees. Key information collected for each tree species includes bole and crown size, location, and age. Based on these measurements, 365 sets of allometric equations were developed for tree species from around the U.S. Each “set” consists of eight equations for each of the approximately 20 most abundant species in each of 16 climate regions. Tree age is used to predict a species diameter at breast height (dbh), and dbh is used to predict tree height, crown diameter, crown height, and leaf area. Dbh is also used to predict age. For applications with remote sensing, average crown diameter is used to predict dbh. There are 171 distinct species represented within this database. Some species grow in more than one region. The Urban Tree Database (UTD) contains foliar biomass data (raw data and summarized results from the foliar sampling for each species and region) that are fundamental to calculating leaf area, as well as tree biomass equations (compiled from literature) for carbon storage estimates. An expanded list of dry weight biomass density factors for common urban species is made available to assist users in using volumetric equations. Information on urban tree growth underpins models used to calculate effects of trees on the environment and human well-being. Maximum tree size and other growth data are used by urban forest managers, landscape architects and planners to select trees most suitable to the amount of growing space, thereby reducing costly future conflicts between trees and infrastructure. Growth data are used to develop correlations between growth and influencing factors such as site conditions and stewardship practices. Despite the importance of tree growth data to the science and practice of urban forestry, our knowledge is scant. Over a period of 14 years scientists with the U.S. Forest Service recorded data from a consistent set of measurements on over 14,000 trees in 17 U.S. cities. These data were originally published on 03/02/2016. The metadata was updated on 10/06/2016 to include reference to a new publication. Minor metadata updates were made on 12/15/2016. On 01/07/2020 this data publication was updated to correct a few species' names and systematic errors in the data that were found. A complete list of these changes is included (\Supplements\Errata_Jan2020_RDS-2016-0005.pdf). In addition, we have included a list of changes for the General Technical Report associated with these data (\Supplements\Errata_Jan2020_PNW-GTR-253.pdf).

Release Date
None planned
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-160 50, -65 50, -65 20, -160 20))
Forest Service Research Data Archive
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Data are from a consistent set of measurements on over 14,000 trees in these 17 U.S. cities: Orlando, Florida Charleston, South Carolina Claremont, California Modesto, California Albuquerque, New Mexico Indianapolis, Indiana Minneapolis, Minnesota Fort Collins, Colorado Berkeley, California Queens, New York Longview, Oregon Charlotte, North Carolina Sacramento, California Santa Monica, California Glendale, Arizona Boise, Idaho Honolulu, Hawaii
Temporal Coverage
January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2012
Contact Name
Natalie S. van Doorn
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:059 - Department of Agriculture - Management Activities
Bureau Code
005:96 - Forest Service
Harvested from Forest Service Research
Harvest Source TitleForest Service Research
Harvest Source URIhttps://fs.usda.gov/rds/archive/webservice/oaipmh
Last Harvest PerformedTue, 02/07/2023 - 02:20

Metadata Source

U.S. Forest Service Research