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Boardman Park Studies 400 Trees in ‘Green Oasis’

This Business Journal Daily article details the work Davey Resource Group is doing to help Boardman Park become a more sustainable area.

Posted: May 17, 2016

By Josh Medore

By Dan Slagle’s count, there are some 400 trees in the northern portion of Boardman Park. That’s the section most visited, the park director says, and where the Green Oasis has its greatest impact.

And with more and more people coming every year – an estimated 450,000 visitors came to the park in 2015 – how the park looks plays as much of a role in its success as the entertainment it offers.

In an effort to know exactly what’s going on with the park’s trees, Boardman Park has enlisted Davey Resource Group, based in Kent, to create a tree management plan. Included are data on the location, size and species of each tree, as well as notes on how to maintain it and any damage.

“We can get good baseline data and combine it with our knowledge of urban forestry to help the park become more sustainable,” says Davey business developer Shirley Vaughn. “We want to give the park a clear picture of how they can care for this tree in the future. It helps them prepare.”

In early May, Davey Resource Group project manager Jim Jenkins took inventory of the trees on the northern 60 acres. The process for each tree is straightforward.

Using a GPS device connected to a portable computer, he marks the location of a tree on an aerial image of the park that doubles as a map. While the GPS system gets the position close, it’s up to Jenkins to pinpoint each tree’s spot and enter it into the system. Then, he measures its diameter with a Biltmore Stick – named for the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina where it was developed – and examines the tree for any sign of damage.

“For each and every tree, we do a 360-degree check to inspect it from all angles,” Jenkins says as he examines the trunk of an oak tree. “What we’re looking for are dead limbs and decay.”

Should there be any sign of damage, it’s noted in the computer file, along with the location, species and an age range. With the combined information, each tree is graded A through F.

Once the inventory is completed – Jenkins spent about four days inspecting the 400-plus trees – long-term management recommendations will be made. Should a tree be graded D or F, Jenkins will recommend three species of trees to replace it should it die. For other trees, notes will accompany many entries in the inventory on how it should be pruned to maintain structural integrity or how often it should be fertilized.

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