GIS Assists in Developing a Tree Inventory


Every community is faced with the task of tracking and maintaining a
complete tree inventory within its municipal boundaries. There are a
variety of reasons that an accurate inventory is important. With the
emerald ash borer causing mass destruction of the ash tree population
within the Chicago area, it is very vital to have a detailed inventory
in order to monitor the spreading of this disease, or any other disease
for that matter, as well as take the necessary steps to prevent the
disease from spreading even further. Keeping track of the variety of
species is also important not only for disease spreading but also for
replanting purposes. Too many of the same species planted too close
together causes disease to spread rapidly. An accurate inventory also
proves beneficial in budget planning and answering individual resident’s
questions regarding trees on a particular property. The Village of
Lincolnwood has had all this information locked up in databases for
years, but it never had an easy way to access this valuable information.
GIS was chosen to be the most efficient solution to address this

The tree data from the databases were tied into their respective
addresses and then entered into GIS. A new custom layer was created and
added to MapOffice Advanced where any community employee can access the
data instantly. All the relevant attribute information is retrieved by
clicking on a tree on the map. Currently, the inventory is updated
through January 2009 with any additions or removals since then being
updated when that data becomes available. Having this at their disposal,
a village employee can access a variety of information just by
searching by an address, rather than sifting through countless rows of a
database looking for a certain tree. The time saved alone makes this a
valued addition to MapOffice Advanced.