Public Shade Tree Inventory & Management Program
The public shade tree inventory and management plan project is tentatively scheduled to begin on April 18, 2017, weather permitting. Once the inventory and assessment work begins, it is expected to take 6-8 weeks to complete the data collection, an additional 2-3 weeks to develop the management plan, and the project is expected to be completed by the end of July. This will be the first town-wide public shade tree inventory and assessment conducted in the Town of Concord.
The mature trees that are found throughout the landscape in Concord define the character of the community and the historic feel of the Town. Entrusted with managing such a precious resource, Concord Public Works has made significant investments throughout the years in properly caring for the urban forest. Some of these investments include having a highly-trained Town staff managing the trees, completing most of the maintenance work in-house, and when a removal is necessary, Concord Public Works tries to plant a new tree to replace the removed tree, subject to available funding. The information provided through this project will be an invaluable tool in assisting Concord Public Works in managing the urban forest. The Town of Concord was fortunate to receive a $30,000 challenge grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to aid in funding the project.
The Davey Tree Expert Company has been selected to conduct an inventory of trees, stumps, and available planting sites along 107 miles of public streets, in parks, cemeteries, and other selected public facilities. The GIS-based inventory will be conducted by certified arborists using pre-programmed computers that collect tree data such as species, size, condition, maintenance needs, various site attributes, and a representative photo will be included for each tree. During the inventory, each tree will have a Level 2 Qualitative Risk Assessment performed based on ANSI A300 standards as well as any observations of possible insect or disease infestations recorded using the i-Tree Pest Detection protocol from the USDA Forest Service. The data collected through the inventory will give the community a comprehensive report on the state of its urban tree canopy and will be used to establish a proactive tree management program for the community’s tree canopy. The tree management program will also incorporate advanced software that will allow Concord Public Works to monitor all tree related activities and will be a powerful planning tool. This software will be utilized to prioritize, schedule, and effectively budget all urban forestry management efforts as well as provide relevant and accurate information about the urban forest.
The goals of the project include developing an increased knowledge of the overall condition of the urban forest, the development of an efficient maintenance program using the tree inventory, and an increased public awareness of the public shade trees in Concord. Included in the comprehensive software package will be web-based access for the public to view information about the public shade trees in Concord. In addition to being able to view information about the species, size, and location of public shade trees, the valuable ecosystem benefits each tree provides will also be available. Using the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree Streets application, ecosystem benefits calculated will include energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, stormwater control, and property value increases. The public will also be able to identify individual trees of interest which will be particularly helpful in locating trees of historical significance throughout Town.
March 8, 2017 Presentation - Click Here to View Presentation made at the March 8, 2017 Public Works Commission Meeting.