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Denise Johnstone - 2019 Conference Abstract

The Urban Visual Vitality Index (UVVI) – a visual assessment method of crown condition in urban trees.

Measuring tree stress and defoliation due to various climatic factors is essential to the ongoing delivery of environmental services by urban trees, especially those that relate to shade and carbon sequestration. This presentation describes the evolution of a visual assessment method of crown condition into the Urban Visual Vitality Index or UVVI. The method began as a tool for evaluating forest Eucalypts (Grimes1978; Lindenmayer et al 1990; Martin 2001) and was taken up by Johnstone et al(2012) and applied successfully to plantation Eucalypts. Seeing its potential for use in urban situations Callow et al (2018) modified the method andsuccessfully verified the UVVI by comparing results from the method withdrought measurements in Ulmus proceraand Ulmus x hollandica. The UVVI was successfully tested again by Sepulveda and Johnstone (2019) in urban Ficus macrophylla, Plantanusx acerifolia and Ulmus parvifolia trees.The UVVI has therefore been used successfully as a method for evaluating visual vitality in five species of urban trees. Results for species tested to date suggest that vitality may be able to be assessed visually using the UVVI without the need for specialised equipment, providing the appropriate training in the use of the method is undertaken.

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