Resolving uncertainties in predictive equations for urban tree crown characteristics of the southeastern United States: Local and general equations for common and widespread species Academic Article


  • Urban forest research and management requires improved methods for quantifying ecosystem structureand function. Regional equations for urban tree crown width and height can accordingly improve predictionsof urban tree structure. Using a large regional dataset with 12 locations in the southeastern US,we developed diameter-based equations for 97 urban tree species. Whereas previously published urbanequations have almost exclusively been developed with one location on public or commercial land, ourdata included both public and private land uses. For 5 widespread, common urban tree species (Acerrubrum, Cornus florida, Pinus taeda, Quercus nigra and Lagerstroemia spp.), we also assessed the inclusionof additional variables such as crown light exposure, land cover, basal area, and location. Overall, heightand crown width models were improved when including additional predictors, although competitionand location effects varied by species. Study city was a significant predictor of tree height in all speciesexcept C. florida, and a significant predictor of crown width for all species except C. florida and Q. nigra. Thisindicates that anthropogenically-influenced variation among cities can lead to significant differences inboth tree form and structure and that future model development should utilize data encompassing multiplecities. Our predictive equations for urban tree crown characteristics provide an improved methodfor planning, management, and estimating the provision of ecosystem services to improve quality of lifein cities.

publication date

  • 2016/10/1


  • 20


  • crown
  • location
  • specie

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1618-8667

start page

  • 282

end page

  • 294