Light Harvesters

Value the trees in your neighbourhood and see their environmental benefits using Treezilla.

Background and nature of the task
Treezilla is an exciting new citizen science platform that everyone from school children to university students and the general public can get involved with. Become a citizen forester. Learn about your local trees; discover which species are growing in your street and the ecosystem services that they provide, all powered by sunlight.

There are maps of all kinds of things like roads, footpaths, mountains, bus stops, pubs, but there is no UK-wide map of individual trees. Here are some reasons why we need one:

  • Trees harvest the power of sunlight directly into biological systems.
  • Trees provide environmental benefits ('ecosystem services') such as improving air quality in towns, moderating air temperature and capturing CO2.
  • Trees are valued landmarks and add to people's sense of wellbeing.
  • Trees provide habitats for birds, bats, insects, mosses and lichens.
  • A map of individual trees can be used to better care for them - checking how well they are growing or whether they are diseased or have died and need replacing.

What good will mapping trees do?

  • Mapping trees can be fun and helps in learning about them.
  • Most towns contain dozens of different species of tree. With a name attached to each tree on the map, your neighbourhood can become an arboretum.
  • Treezilla automatically calculates the ecosystem services provided by each tree so that its value can be appreciated and protected. 
  • It may be possible to plan where best to plant trees to maximise the benefit of their ecosystem services, for example planting trees along a busy road to reduce air pollution.

We have also developed free iPhone and Android apps for Treezilla, which are available to download in the respective Apple  and Google Play stores.

Duration and pattern of use
10 min reading, understanding and planning the task.
30 min – 2h (or longer) outside recording trees.
30 min (optional) interpreting the data especially the environmental benefits.

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