Spring tree planting route management

Blog_Springtreeplantingroutemanagement.pngLocal governments are responsible for managing several different
asset types, from vehicles to landscape planters, which all require some
sort of annual or bi-annual maintenance to ensure they continue to
operate correctly and to increase the asset’s longevity. One of the
assets that requires constant maintenance or, in some cases replacement,
is trees managed by the local community. Since these assets are
organic, they are susceptible to diseases, damages, poor health, and
other ailments that affect all organic material. As a result, there is
often a need to replace or remove trees that are sick or damaged, which
can be both an expensive and logistically challenging process. To
assist with a recent tree replacement effort, the City of Des Plaines
Public Works Department asked the city’s Geographic Information System
(GIS) department to create a map showing the replacement locations that
could be used to help coordinate efforts between city staff and a third
party tree management contractor.

The first step in this project involved the Public Works department
collecting an inventory of which trees needed to be replaced, along with
the address closest to each tree, and providing that list to the GIS
staff for mapping. Once the tree locations were mapped based on their
closest address, a sequential numbering system was established and a
unique number was given to each tree so that number could be displayed
on the map in conjunction with a symbol representing the tree location.
As a supplement to the map, a list of the tree addresses, and the
number associated with each location, was created and provided to both
internal department staff and the contractor so they could both have a
detailed address list and a visual tool to reference when out in the

Having a common set of resources used between both internal staff and
the tree contractor allowed for better coordination and understanding
of the work that needed to be done. Through the use of GIS, the time
needed by the Public Works staff to coordinate with the contractor was
significantly reduced, thereby making the process more efficient and
freeing up staff time for other projects.