Saving Time and Money (and Trees) with Inventories
by Lee Mueller Davey Resource Group, a Division of The Davey Tree Expert Company
Humans naturally gravitate towards large trees. If you take a group of kids on a nature walk, it is often the largest and oldest trees that captivate their attention. Whether it is shade, beauty, or treehouse potential, there is simply a magnetic draw to the largest trees. Unfortunately, it can take a lot of time and effort to grow a tree. Once mature, large trees are nearly impossible to replace if severely damaged. As a result, scores of arborists, nurserymen, and landscape professionals have dedicated their entire career to providing tree health care to promote tree health, safety, and longevity.
Aside from our obvious preference for large, majestic trees, trees have become more and more
recognized as an asset an investment. Tools like the National Tree Benefits Calculator(http://www.treebenefits.org) and the iTreesuite (http://www.itreetools.org) help calculate thbenefits that trees provide and place a monetary value on these benefits and the tree itself. Professional arborists are likely familiar with the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers Guide for Plant Appraisal which is a system for developing a monetary value for specimen and landscape trees. Recent scientific research suggests that trees in front of a house can increase
home value by as much as 6.4% . Combined, this shows that trees continue to grow in value 1 over time but only if they are afforded the proper care to reduce issues and extend longevity.
Taking care of one tree can be hard enough, but managing an entire population can prove to be very challenging. To assist in the management of large populations of trees, arborist have developed innovative tools that help track and monitor trees. Chief among these is a tree inventory, which is a database of information about a particular population of trees. At a minimum, an inventory includes information about each tree’s location, species, and size. Depending on its use, additional attributes such as the tree’s condition, maintenance recommendations (e.g. pruning, fertilization, removal), tree risk assessment, conflicts (e.g. overhead utilities, hardscape), or other field observations are often included included as well.
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