One of the first steps in managing your urban forest is to know what is in it. Where are the trees located? What are their condition, size and species? These are questions that can be answered by conducting an inventory, an essential tool for developing a management plan.
Some communities undertake an inventory for community safety and maintenance needs. Others, for budget justification and planning for the future.
There is no single, correct type and way of conducting an inventory; it all depends on how the inventory will be used and who will use it. It can be a windshield survey in which tree data are collected from a slow-moving car. This basic survey is often used in very small communities with limited budgets or to conduct a partial inventory.
Or, an inventory can be a statistical sample of the entire urban forest with up to several hundred study plots located randomly across a large metropolitan area. TFS urban foresters can assist you in selecting the right type of inventory.
TFS has developed a free Level 1 Tree Risk Assessment mobile app, available in the App Store
and Google Play
. This app is designed to identify trees with obvious defects and can be used in both pre- and post-storm assessments.
The U.S. Forest Service offers the freely accessible i-Tree
suite of tools to assist in inventories and assessments. This software suite provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessments.
+ Urban Forest Ecosystem Studies
+ Street Tree Inventory Reports