Trends in financial damage related to urban tree failure in the Netherlands

Marinus van Haaften, M.P.M. Meuwissen, C.G. Gardebroek en J. Kopinga
Duurzame Verbindingen in de Greenport
Soort object
Risk assessments on trees in urban areas and roadside plantings have become common practice and a large body of information exists on qualitative aspects on the risks of tree failure. Quantitative analysis of financial damage due to tree failure is generally lacking. The objective of this paper is to determine the amount of tree failure related property damage and to derive possible trends in the number of cases and monetary claims and compensations. This paper presents the analysis of 1610 observations on urban tree failure in the Netherlands. The data originate from two different sources, i.e. jurisprudence (4% of the data) and 21 municipalities (96%). The data covers property damage in urban areas between the early sixties and 2010. Within municipalities, paid compensations due to tree failure are found to range from €0 to € 49,296 with an average of €2,244 per paid compensation. Results demonstrate a significant annual increase in tree failure as well as in paid compensations.