Look at this close-up of the i-Tree map, created by Zoe Clarkwest of Rain Underground, and you can see many of Old Goucher's existing 1075 street trees and also some of the many places new trees are coming! In 2015, residents and volunteers working with the Baltimore Tree Trust will be planting hundreds of new street trees.
How many new trees are coming? Zoe and co-worker Jenny Wienckowski determined that there is space for 423 new trees in Old Goucher, including 79 empty tree wells ready for planting, and another 73 tree wells with stumps. They also identified 271 potential locations for new tree wells and identified those sites by address. This fall Old Goucher residents, the Tree Trust, and many TreeKeepers planted 49 trees at two fun plantings.
Now, the Tree Trust has spray-painted all the possible new pits so that Flanigan & Sons can have the winter months to remove the concrete and create the new tree wells.
Zoe Clarkwest of Rain Underground reported on street trees to the Old Goucher Community Association at its September meeting. She and Jenny Wienckowski have completed the neighborhood's Street Tree Inventory, assessing each and every street tree to generate a wealth of useful information. Their work provides a detailed street tree portrait of Old Goucher, our second Trees for Public Health Neighborhood. The inventory shows that Old Goucher has 1075 street trees, with 76 percent in good condition, 18 percent in fair condition, while only 6 percent are in poor condition or dead and dying. Old Goucher has 62 different tree species, but three dominate, making up half the trees: Littleleaf Linden, 194 trees or 18 percent of the total, Callery Pear, 190 trees, and Red Maple, 179, or 17 percent. The next three most common species are: Norway Maple, 60 trees, Japanese Zelkova, 43 trees, and London Plane, 41 trees. The Tree Trust will use this and other data to help determine what trees to plant in coming seasons as we work with the Old Goucher Community Association to methodically plant up the whole neighborhood.
The i-Tree database for Old Goucher shows that collectively the existing street trees reduce CO2 by a net of 141.6 tons, (value $2,124 per year), while they intercept 1.4 million gallons of storm water each year – about 1,330 gallons per tree (value $14,113 per year). The trees serve as vital green infrastructure. As more are planted and the young trees mature, the community's current meager 11.9 percent tree canopy should double.
How A Tree Inventory Gets Done
During the summer, Zoe and Jenny examined each street tree. Here Zoe is sizing up a young Willow Oak. They use a smart phone to enter all their data into i-Tree Streets software. The duo, both trained as landscape architects, begin by identifying the tree species. Next, Jenny uses a tape measure to determine the Willow Oak trunk’s diameter at four feet off the ground: 1.3 inches, then she measures the width of the tree’s canopy: 3-feet-wide. Height: not quite 10 feet. Condition of tree’s wood: Good. Leaves? Fair. Maintenance needed: Trim lower limbs. Tree pit size: 4 x 6 feet.
And that is not all! Any sidewalk heaving? No. Any overhead utility lines? No. Next: GPS coordinates and address. As they moved along from block to block, they noted each empty tree well, any stumps that need to be removed, hazardous trees. And, very important…. all addresses where new tree wells can be opened and trees planted. “Every four trees,” says Zoe, “I submit my data to the i-Tree link.” Equally important, residents who have taken the free TreeKeepers courses (sign up on this site!) to learn about tree care can use the detailed list of what young street trees need maintenance to provide care. The Inventory Team uses standard inventory protocol as set forth by i-Tree® (for details see: I-Tree Streets 5.0 User Manual at www.itreetools.org).