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

Haaften, M.A. van; Meuwissen, M.P.M.; Gardebroek, C.; Kopinga, J.


Risk assessments on trees in urban areas and roadside plantings have become common practice and alarge body of information exists on qualitative aspects on the risks of tree failure. Quantitative analysisof financial damage due to tree failure is generally lacking. The objective of this paper is to determinethe amount of tree failure related property damage and to derive possible trends in the number of casesand monetary claims and compensations. This paper presents the analysis of 1610 observations on urbantree failure in the Netherlands. The data originate from two different sources, i.e. jurisprudence (4% ofthe data) and 21 municipalities (96%). The data covers property damage in urban areas between the earlysixties and 2010. Within municipalities, paid compensations due to tree failure are found to range fromD 0 to D 49,296 with an average of D 2,244 per paid compensation. Results demonstrate a significantannual increase in tree failure as well as in paid compensations.