The U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station published a technical manual and launched the most extensive database available for cataloging urban trees with their projected growth tailored to specific geographic regions.
"Knowing a tree's maximum size can avoid future conflicts between roots and sidewalks or branches and power lines," said Greg McPherson, research forester for the Forest Service and lead author of the technical report and database. The products are a culmination of 14 years of work, analyzing more than 14,000 trees across the United States. Whereas prior growth models typically featured only a few species specific to a given city or region, the newly released database features 171 distinct species across 16 U.S. climate zones. The trees studied also spanned a range of ages with data collected from a consistent set of measurements. Written in a way to be accessible to non-technical users, the technical report gives step-by-step instructions on how to use the equations to calculate tree dimensions, biomass, carbon storage and other features of interest to urban foresters.