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Tree Inventories

To maintain and manage a healthy and resilient urban forest, it is necessary to interpret the components of this resource by doing a tree inventory. An inventory provides information on species, size and external and internal growth factors. With this data, the vitality and health of the trees and the canopy cover can be extrapolated. A comprehensive management plan is written and best practices recommended.

A tree inventory includes counting trees and recording parameters, such as:

  • Species, height, diameter, canopy and crown height;
  • Abiotic growth factors: growing media and hardscape impediments;
  • Biotic growth factors: girdling, crown die back, dead branches, cavities and trunk damage.

Data collected depends on the purpose of the inventory and what clients envision as the ultimate goal for their urban forest. From our experience, goals can be set to improve biodiversity, preserve heritage trees, plant successional forests, manage the community’s fruit and nut trees and maintain and increase canopy cover.

Tree inventories can be carried out by UNC staff or trained volunteers. UNC trains and manages volunteers to inventory community trees. Follow-up can be considered part of the contract to assist volunteers. Julie Keller's previous work on tree inventories was published in 2011. More information can be found on Julie Keller's CV and/or in UNC's Projects 2011.

Please contact UNC to arrange a meeting.

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