A Collaborative Research Effort to Predict and Map Potential Storm Failures

What is the Tree Failure Project?

The tree failure project is a long-term initiative that endeavors to quantify tree failure potential based on existing inventory and storm recovery data. The qualitative risk assessment methods currently used provide a functional means characterizing risk. Unfortunately, they rely on subjective ratings that can be significantly influenced by the assessor's perceptions and acceptance of risk.


Insurance, finance, and other industries that deal with risk draw on large data sets to guide their decisions. Currently, this data does not exist for the tree care industry. We are working to change this by creating an online risk mapping tool that helps urban foresters manage risk in their cities and helps generate the data needed to make more accurate predictions of tree failure.

Key elements of the Tree Failure Project

The first stage of the Tree Failure Project is the creation of an online failure prediction model and risk mapping tool. This tool will allow users to:

  • Input data with a modified OpenTreeMap data entry form (or other inventory system of their choice)
  • Visualize trees and their predicted risk in storm events (as the model allows, based on species and location)
  • Visualize trees and their assessed risk using the ISA Tree Risk BMP method (when
  • Output data for use in the i-Tree Storm debris estimation model

In addition, we are working with the International Society of Arboriculture to draft their first BMP on Urban Forest Storm Preparation and Response.


We need your help!

The Tree Failure Project is a data-driven approach to predicting tree failure potential (and ultimately risk). To achieve this goal, we are looking for inventory data, especially data that captures the impacts of a storm event, such as:

  • Post-storm surveys
  • Pre- and post-storm inventory data
  • Failure data
  • Debris surveys

If you have data that meet this criteria (or may otherwise be potentially useful), please participate in our Storm Data Survey



Project Partners