This project focuses on using iPads with Collector for GIS software to obtain GPS locations and other relevant tree data. The database design is intended to host not only the inventory collection but also but used by the Forestry Division of the Highway Department to manage and maintain the urban tree canopy. The data will be automatically saved and stored on GIS server of the college. Once the inventory is complete, the data will be copied to the town’s GIS server for inventory management and analysis
The project will also utilize i-Tree software, free from the US Forest Service to perform various statistical analysis once the inventory is completed.
The Emerald Ash Borer has been documented within the Town. The inventory will provide the Town with a much needed count and condition of ash trees located in the public right-of way. Once identified, Town crews will be able to respond to EAB infestation/damage and reduce liability associated with hazardous trees. The Town of Tonawanda is self-insured for liability. The inventory will identify trees that are hazardous for mitigation, reducing future liability claims, ultimately paid by the taxpayer.
Using the recommended tree benefit calculator and assuming an average deciduous medium leaf tree, 10 inches in diameter, citizens reap $106/year per tree in benefits. With an estimated 30,000 trees in the public right-of-ways, that equates to $3,180,000 in benefits with a potential for $530,000 in benefits from the 5,000+ new planting sites.
The data to be provided as a result of the project includes tree species, diameter at breast height (DBH), crown width, height, condition, required maintenance, planting location evaluations, site condition assessments and utility conflicts.
The project is expected to be completed by the Fall of 2016.