There is currently a lack of tree valuation methods to better appraise the effects, benefits and legal actions related to urban forests in South American countries; and those which have one, present difficulties of application. To address this, five parametric formulas were elaborated for urban trees appraisal in central Chile, to assess their performance against two previously evaluated formulas: the Chilean municipalities of Concepcion, La Pintana and Maipú formula (COPIMA) and the United States’ Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA). Formulas were developed using national and international professionals and multiple relevant tree-site variables that should be considered when assessing monetary value. The formulas were proposed using a focus group of national professionals to better adjust formulas using criteria related to: feasibility of application, minimum and maximum monetary values, feasibility in legal actions, lack of statistically significant differences among evaluators, tree and aesthetic variables, sites, amenities and ecosystem services and dis-services. The seven formulas were tested on 30 trees in three communes of Chile, Santiago, Talca and Concepción, by eight professionals, yielding a total sample of 1,680. Afterwards, samples were analyzed for statistical differences. Findings were used to develop a regional tree valuation formula called Valoración Monetaria del Arbolado Urbano (VaMA). The formula may be used by municipalities, professional and researches to better assess the monetary value of public and private urban trees in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
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