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Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry Welcomes Neighborhood Applications for the 2014 Inventory
In November, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Urban Forestry’s Street Tree Inventory Project wrapped up its fourth year, our biggest one yet for identifying, measuring and mapping neighborhood street trees. The program has seen tremendous growth since it began, with the 2013 efforts nearly doubling the work of all previous seasons.
This year, 30,000 street trees were identified, measured, and mapped in eight participating neighborhoods, including Arbor Lodge, Brooklyn, Cathedral Park, Downtown, Piedmont, Portsmouth, Richmond, and Woodstock. In total, 70,000 street trees have been inventoried in 17 neighborhoods.
Since 2009, PP&R Urban Forestry has organized street tree inventories to provide neighborhoods with information and tools to better care for their street trees. Data from the inventory help neighborhoods prioritize and implement efforts for street tree management in partnership with Urban Forestry.
“Street trees are a vital public asset, and their care requires the active engagement of the communities that they benefit,” says Jenn Cairo,Portland’s City Forester. “We want to empower neighborhoods to manage their street trees from the ground up. This inventory is a powerful tool for that. We’re collecting important data for management and forming community tree teams in the process.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013 INVENTORY FINDINGS:
Total annual benefits provided by street trees range from $108,000 to $651,000 for each neighborhood. Benefits include energy savings, stormwater processing, and property value increases.Replacement values for neighborhood street tree populations range from $4 -$20 million.Norwayand red maple, pear, cherry, and plum are the most common trees across all neighborhoods.Only two neighborhoods met recommended guidelines for species diversity: Portsmouth and Woodstock.
Planting a diversity of species reduces risk from pests and diseases. Maples are widely overrepresented at the species, genus, and family level. The rose family (Rosaceae) is also overrepresented, particularly in neighborhoods where many small planting sites exist.Half of all street trees are young (less than 6” in diameter).Over 12,000 spaces have been identified for tree planting across all neighborhoods. No neighborhood (excluding Downtown) is stocked more than 69%.
The street tree inventory program is largely volunteer-driven, and 250 volunteers donated over 4,000 hours to the project this year. Volunteers organized neighborhood tree teams, collected street tree data at neighborhood workdays, offered professional expertise as arborists, and entered data at the Urban Forestry office.
Complete inventory results, recommendations, and maps for each neighborhood are available at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/treeinventory.
On November 9, 2013, 100 participants convened at an annual Tree Summit at St. John’s Community Center to hear inventory findings, discuss results, and begin creating neighborhood tree management plans. Over the next year, Urban Forestry will support neighborhoods in implementing their plans. Possible management action items include pruning workshops, increased planting efforts, and homeowner education and outreach around topics such as species diversity and young tree care.
CALL FOR 2014 APPLICATIONS: Neighborhood applications for the 2014 inventory are due January 15! To submit an application, visit: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/treeinventory.
For more information, call PP&R’s Angie DiSalvo at 503-823-4484 or email at