Urban Forest Tree Surveys
You are probably familiar with the term ‘Urban Forest’ – that shady refuge in the middle of the bustling city where inhabitants can escape the brick and mortar and enjoy a natural reprieve from it all. Some of the most famous urban parks that might come to mind are New York’s Central Park, or perhaps Graffiti Park in Los Angeles, but what many of us often overlook is exactly what it takes to maintain and preserve these cherished locals.
Portland, Oregon – often referred to as “American’s Greenest City” has recently been forced to re-examine the task of maintaining the cities beloved North Park Blocks after a 100+ year old Dutch Elm smashed through the stained glass windows of St. James Church, injuring one. Rob Crouch, a local urban forestry coordinator, was dispatched soon after to examine surrounding trees in the park blocks and charged with determining the dangers they may or may not present.
To the disheartenment of many, it was determined that some of the surrounding trees were presenting “red flags” such as age related weakness and may inevitably require removal to alleviate possible dangers posed to the public.
According to Crouch, after completing a tree-survey, most of the remaining trees were determined to be between 80-100 years old and some have suffered from decay, among other ailments. The removal of these old trees will not only be potentially costly to the city, their absence will diminish portions of the tree canopy and thus the appeal of the park blocks. On a brighter note however, the City of Portland has already made plans to replant many of the trees which will be removed, and surveys like these provide crucial information which enables cities to manage Urban Forests more effectively.
“Do you know if your trees are safe, or whether or not they present a danger to the public or property? If not, you probably should.” – Arbtech Tree Survey, a tree survey company in the UK.
Similar efforts have been made by our friends across the pond in The United Kingdom and other European locals to preserve their vast network of Urban Parks. Consequently, checking for the health and safety of trees is necessary and sometimes required in public parks or sometimes in your own backyards. Like in the Portland example, usually if one tree goes down, that could typically trigger an inspection of surrounding trees.
We probably all agree that protecting the trees we DO have in our urban environment is a must. When trees are starting to fall down due to age, it’s important that local residents or city planners come up with new plans to replace old trees to keep the character of a given neighborhood or park. Since we all know that trees add to the livability in cites and towns and are a fabric of our society, as tree-lovers and tree-huggers lets all try to keep an extra eye towards the health of our neighborhood trees.
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