Davey’s TreeKeeper® inventory management tool helps Park Ridge, Illinois, maintain an ongoing database of its trees, allowing crews to focus on their jobs rather than the paperwork.
Making the decision
Maintaining a tree inventory for a municipality can be a tedious task, and while the landscape of database programs can be intimidating as technology advances, Davey Resource Group, Inc.’s (DRG’s) TreeKeeper tool stands out as a program that lets users manage their inventory with ease.
Park Ridge, Illinois, began using TreeKeeper in 2012 after DRG performed an inventory of the city’s trees. The city was using a different inventory tool but switched to TreeKeeper after experiencing how useful it was to manage the city’s forestry division data.
A smooth transition
Joe Hansen, urban forester for the city, uses TreeKeeper to keep tabs on all the trees located in publicly owned land, such as parks, roadsides, and at municipal buildings. With TreeKeeper, Hansen can make notes in the field on a tablet mounted in his car. He is also able to see the entire history for any city-owned tree.
TreeKeeper tracks all the calls for tree work made by city residents and all the work crews have done in the field. Hansen also uses the software to generate work orders for contractors.
Hansen says using TreeKeeper has cut the Forestry Division’s time in half versus their previous inventory method.
Hansen’s crew manage a total of 20,706 street trees with annual inventory updates of 2,200 trees before their cycle pruning program. Because of this, TreeKeeper has become a prevalent tool in the city’s toolbox. According to Hansen, Park Ridge’s Forestry Division has wrapped its entire day-to-day around the TreeKeeper tool, from reporting to tracking and budgeting.
Reaping the benefits
With TreeKeeper, the city’s Forestry Division is more advanced than most other departments in the city government. Other than emergency services like police and fire, Park Ridge’s Forestry Division is the only team in public works that is completely mobile.
Since installing the software, Park Ridge discovered their city trees avoided 4 million pounds of carbon dioxide and improved air quality by 28,000 pounds of pollutants saved.
The Park Ridge Forestry Division’s success with TreeKeeper is just one example of how the inventory management software can help urban foresters streamline operations and track the benefits of their city trees.