Wrexham's urban tree survey "a first" for Wales

Wrexham townscape - image: Christopher Owen Jones
Wrexham townscape - image: Christopher Owen Jones

A comprehensive survey of Wrexham County Borough's public and private trees has been completed, in the first stage of a project to put a monetary value on the north Wales region's tree estate.

Six tree surveyors visited more than 200 locations in the region's 12 towns over a five-week period to gather a range of data on trees' location, species, size and condition for Wrexham i-Tree Eco the project, which is jointly funded by Natural Resources Wales and Wrexham County Borough Council.

The information will be sent to the US Forest Service who will analyse the data using its i-Tree software. The results will then be interpreted by Forest Research, who will compile a report on the value of the area’s urban trees by early 2014.

The aim is to give a monetary value to the benefits of Wrexham’s urban trees by looking at the amount of carbon and other airborne pollutants they capture, as well as their contribution to reducing the effects of climate change.

The project will also examine the trees’ resistance to pests and diseases and measure their contribution to residents' quality of life through cooling town centres in summer, slowing storm water run-off, and providing sound and visual screening.

Wrexham was selected as the first area in Wales to take part in the i-Tree Eco project because of its work with Forestry Commission Wales on the development of an inventory of urban trees in Wales.

The council’s arboricultural officer Moray Simpson, said: "This seemed like the logical next step. We’re a proactive council when it comes to our trees, but in planning a strategy for the management of our urban forest, we need to know what we’ve got first.

"By placing a value on the benefits to society of our urban trees, the importance of this resource can be made tangible to policy makers, local communities and businesses."

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