The Tree Matrix Algorithm

The Tree Matrix Tree Survival Algorithm

A Tree Survival Formula Designed by Arborists

Tree Matrix tree survival scores are powered by our U.S. Patent protected Predictive Analytical Engine (PAE) an algorithm developed by Keith Pitchford, ISA Certified Arborist, Washington D.C., with his 30 years of consulting on arboriculture and tree preservation projects.


The PAE grew from a frustration with subjective, guesswork-type tree preservation. This “old school” method of guesswork has now been replaced with a highly accurate formula that will help to eliminate uncertainty in this process. This will result in the retention of more trees with fewer uncertainties and legal challenges.

Five equally important parameters of tree preservation are considered by the PAE. They calculate the likelihood of trees surviving the impacts of root loss during the critical 3-5 year period following impacts. The user can manipulate the parameters to optimize preservation potential.

The PAE is also based on a machine learning platform, which will capture data entered by users, and over years can mine the results of the preservation efforts. The result will be a highly refined tree preservation formula with each and every project, and each and every year.

Analysis of historical tree preservation projects using the Tree Matrix formula has resulted in 70% survival score being the baseline for long-term tree preservation success. If the user cannot attain at least a 70% survival rating, it may not be prudent to keep the tree. The higher the percentage obtained, the better the long-term chances for survival and the less post-construction treatments are necessary.

The Tree Matrix tree survival algorithm was awarded a U.S. Patent for its innovative and scientific approach to predicting, displaying and mitigating root zone disruptions.

Tree Matrix Parameters

The user will choose from a list of hundreds of trees listed by Common name. The trees in our database are rated by their tolerance to root loss.

Condition ratings can be obtained by one of several scales in use within the arboricultural industry. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) published an excellent scale in 1978 that still in use today (Journal of Arboriculture 4(11), November, 1978). Ratings within the PAE are to be: Excellent, Good, Good to Fair, Fair or Poor. Each is assigned a numerical value within the formula.

The user will have to identify the season of impact based upon their geographical location.

The PAE calculates the square footage of CRZ, which is based upon the tree diameter and the resulting area of a circle.

The user can further enhance the calculations by specifying how many sides of the root zone are impacted by the development. If three or more sides are impacted the chance of the tree surviving drops considerably, and may suggest that changes should be made to the proposed construction to protect more of the root system.

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