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NATO has undertaken CAVAT training led by Chris Neilan and supported by Andy Tipping, Jake Tibbetts and Andy Lederer. We are pleased to provide general information on CAVAT on this page and we plan to keep it as up to date as possible. A number of tree officers have already attended and benefitted from the one day training workshop which provides a more intensive guide to the way CAVAT can work as an asset management tool in the local authority workplace.

Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT)

CAVAT is a valuation method developed in the UK to express the amenity value of trees in terms of the cost of equivalent replacement.

A new CAVAT website is also now available: CAVAT

In line with general UK planning principles CAVAT quantifies a tree’s value as a general public asset, not, for example, as the property of the local authority or a private owner. Its mechanism is extrapolated and adjusted replacement costs and its particular features include a measure of a tree’s “functionality”. It is socially progressive, in that it uses official UK population figures to calculate the Community Tree Index factor (CTI), used to adjust the functional value according to local population density.

CAVAT works on the level of the individual tree but it has been expressly designed to be able to integrate with computerised tree inventories and management systems, and so to express and analyse the value of the population as a whole, or Asset Value Management for Trees (AVMT). AVMT is particularly concerned with how the value of the tree stock will change over time, and in particular how that relates to investment. Used in that way it will enable the effective tree manager to demonstrate productive and cost effective use of financial resources, and provide an argument to safeguard the budget for continued planting and management.

CAVAT can be used as part of an i-Tree assessment to provide the “structural “value of a tree population. It also has particular uses where individual trees have been damaged or are said to be damaging property. In the first case it gives an indication of the compensation that should be expected in respect of lost amenity value, (so allowing a more equivalent replacement); in the second it can be used to rank trees to set the required levels of evidence as part of the Joint Mitigation Protocol, as agreed between local authorities and the insurance industry.

It is an expert method, in that a significant amount of knowledge of the growth of trees and species’ differences is required to value a tree reliably. On the other hand, trained amateurs can use it to give indicative values. With training and experience CAVAT values are readily repeatable and should not vary significantly from practitioner to practitioner.

For individual tree valuations the FULL method is used, for surveys of entire populations the QUICK method will usually be sufficient.

The latest set of user documents is available using the following link:

New for 2012 is a project spreadsheet to record the results of multiple FULL assessments.


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