Over the past decade, communities throughout the mid-west have
battled with invasive species. These Invasive species in our rivers and
lakes have affected the way we use these natural resources. Likewise,
our trees have become a focal point of disease and invasive species
including the Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease. Because of this,
it has become necessary to manage trees.
Urban forestry has evolved with the use of technology. Nature’s
Path, a forestry consulting firm servicing the Village of Lincolnwood,
was brought in to create a tree inventory which would be used to manage
the Village’s trees. Using Geographic Information System (GIS),
Nature’s Path created an inventory encompassing the entire village. All
trees were logged on village right –of –ways, medians, and other
village owned property while given attributes pertaining to the health,
size, and age.
Using the tree inventory in GIS has helped Public Works service the
village in a more timely fashion. We can now visually see the locations
of certain classifications of trees on maps and provide geographic
analysis. But this is not all. GIS creates ways to perform advanced
queries and provides results in multiple formats – tabular and
graphical. For example, if all the ash trees need to be located as a
precaution to the Emerald Ash Borer, the locations can be provided
within minutes in map or table form.
Knowing the quantity of trees that require servicing as well as the
health and size assist in project planning. Since the ash borer and elm
disease are regional issues, it is imperative that communities have easy
access to tree data in order to better plan, manage, and share
information on a larger scale.