Skip to main content
Completed project

Budget tool to calculate the cost to successfully establish trees in the urban landscape (NY18003)

Key research provider: Mosaic Insights, Natural Capital Economics, and Alluvium Consulting
Publication date: Monday, February 3, 2020

What was it all about?

This investment delivered a tool to accurately calculate the cost of urban trees and allow industries, developers and key stakeholders across all levels of government to effectively plan for the implementation of trees in urban landscapes. The tool will allow users to demonstrate the costs and benefits of successfully establishing tree-based urban green space.

The nursery industry is in a unique position to promote the benefits of widespread tree planting to the community and the opportunity to position itself as the supplier of these beneficial trees to the public and private sectors.

Understanding the true lifecycle cost of trees will lead to better investment decisions, properly costed operational management, greater community confidence and, ultimately, a healthier urban forest. It is also an important step in ensuring that the natural capital (green assets) can be managed using frameworks and approaches typically used for built assets.

The costing tool was built to meet the needs of industry with domestic and international stakeholders contributing to the process of developing the tool. This included defining critical steps and costs for successfully establishing a tree in an urban landscape such as supply, planting, maintenance and removal. The tool has been tested against real-world situations and workshop participants have provided feedback on its functionality.

The Tree Costing Tool comes with a detailed instruction manual and is available for use by a range of practitioners including urban forest and parks staff at local government and contractor organisations. Information provided ensures the cost of large-scale planting schemes is not underestimated, the true cost of maintenance is understood and can be factored into budget bids, and the benefits or otherwise of investing in larger or higher quality trees on the total life cycle cost can be known.

The tool can also be used to calculate the level of financial compensation that could apply where an existing tree (or trees) must be cleared.


Access the Tree Costing Tool and user manual to contribute to planning and decision making.

Related levy funds

This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund using the nursery R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government


Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2020. The Final Research Report (in part or as a whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation, except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).