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 is peer reviewed by our oustanding board members, and is also based on the most recently published research relevant to the five parameters.

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. Scores from 60-70% suggest that survival is possible, but that significant after-care is required.  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

Users choose from a list of roughly 900 trees.  Each tree is preprogrammed with an estimate of its tolerance to root loss. Please contact us to add a tree type that is not listed in our database.  Call us at (800) 619-3138, or email at

We can add any new tree type and root loss tolerance as information is provided to us by the user.

Condition ratings can be obtained by one of several scales in use within the arboricultural industry. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) published a scale in 1978 that still in use today (Journal of Arboriculture 4(11), November, 1978). Ratings within the PAE are to be: Good, Fair or Poor. Trees rated to be excellent to good, are considered to be 'Good.'  Trees that are good to fair, are considered to be 'Fair.'  Anything below fair is considered to be '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 CRZ and SRZ patterns created by the ‘root plotter’ are reflective of contemporary understanding of root expansion and deflection. However, they are not definitive due to the imprecision regarding rooting patterns. Users should manually adjust the patterns if more precise information is available.

The user can further enhance the calculations by specifying how many "sides" of the root zone are impacted by the development.  The first side is established by the first line of root pruning, or excavation, within the CRZ.  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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