TreeKeeper, a tree inventory management software program, is designed to gather and interpret data that can be used in a seemingly endless amount of ways: to show ecological and economic tree benefits, to manage tree succession plans, to mitigate risk through identifying high risk trees, to show tree species diversity, and more. But more and more users are making their inventory data work for them by using it to create and defend municipal urban forestry budgets.
Here are 6 ways to utilize your tree inventory data to help build your budget request:
- Use data provided by TreeKeeper as a companion to justify a budget by showing funders how much money is saved through the environmental benefits of trees in the long-term and by protecting your trees as an investment.
- Prioritize risk mitigation and tree removal, making sure any potentially dangerous trees are pruned or removed first to avoid costly damage and litigation later on.
- Prioritize plantings to encourage species diversity and increase canopy coverage, which helps mitigate storm damage, pest vulnerability, drought, improve air quality, and more.
- Create records that include a cost comparison between pruning and labor to determine the most effective way to handle workforce and equipment costs.
- Create detailed reports to show any possible gaps in your budget by comparing projected versus actual costs.
- Run reports based on prices entered into the software to show what work is possible with the budget given and make any adjustments to labor or workload based on the data. TreeKeeper provides data tables as well as system-generated charts and graphs.
Budgeting and receiving project funds are important aspects of urban forestry—without appropriate budgets, urban foresters can’t properly care for and expand the city’s treescape. Using the hard data from a current tree inventory within a software tool can help boost credibility when speaking to organizations who provide funding to urban forestry development programs.