Last phase of city tree inventory under way
Daily Star-Journal (Warrensburg, MO), 2014-02-20
Feb. 20--WARRENSBURG -- The last phase of the city's tree inventory began with Davey Resource Group inventory arborists Greg Blick and Molly Baughman starting counts at Cave Hollow and West parks.
The project, funded with a $10,000 Tree Resource Improvement and Management grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, will complete the count of park trees and provide a tree management plan for the city.
The city Parks Department is providing a $2,000 cash match for the project.
At a kickoff meeting Tuesday at the Community Center, 445 E. Gay St., Community Development Director Barbara Carroll said this is the third and final year for the inventory.
The city received Tree Resource and Improvement Management grants the past two years to conduct the inventory, which will lead to a comprehensive tree management program.
"We'll not have to have a grant next year," Carroll said.
In Phases I and II of the inventory, Davey Resource Group surveyed city street trees, defined as those within 10 feet of curbs, and trees in mowed areas and along trails in Shepard, Grover, Marr and Lions Lake parks.
Phase III will inventory up to 1,300 trees in maintained areas and within 10 to 15 feet of trails in Culp, West, Cave Hollow, Hawthorne and Blind Boone parks. Culp Park will be last priority, she said, "in case we go over" the contracted number.
"At the end," Carroll said, "it will provide the city with a tree management plan and recommendations for street and park trees," including a priority list for removal of hazardous trees, planting and pruning and other needed maintenance.
Carroll said the project will be completed in early May.
Blick, who is site manager, said the inventory "will look at species, so you can know what the species mix is" and the potential for insect damage, such as from the emerald ash borer, "so you'll know what to plant ... and plan for the future."
The goal, he said is to have no more than 20 percent in one family, 10 percent in one genus and 5 percent of the same species.
Achieving that goal "will depend on what's available from nurseries and what grows well in the region," Blick said.
The team will measure the diameter of trees at a height of 4.5 feet, he said, "to get a general estimate of the age of the trees."
"We're looking for lots of small trees, fewer medium and a few large trees," Blick said. "Most well-run cities have that distribution ... to make sure they always have trees coming on and in their prime and have some big, impressive trees."
The third factor they will consider is the trees' condition, he said, with ratings ranging from very good to critical.
The fourth factor is the risk rating that will predict "how likely the tree is to fail and how big the failure will be," from a twig or limb to the whole tree.
Blick said the team will note whether trees need pruning, signs of insect damage, if they are growing into wires or causing sidewalk damage.
On trails, he said, they will look for "hazard trees" and rate them from 3 to 10, with a score of 7 being high risk.
Blick said he anticipates completing the survey by Friday.
The team then will compile results and develop the plan to submit to the city in May.
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