Tree inventory, assessment planned for Ludington
Ludington officials are now working to have all the city’s estimated 4,500 trees on public streets and parks inventoried and assessed in 2018.
The project is part of on-going efforts within Ludington to manage trees, minimize the effects of future storm damage, and assure the community has a healthy, sustainable urban forest.
City officials selected Davey Resource Group to conduct the inventory and assessment and City Manager John Shay reported the college-educated, professional arborists from Davey Resource Group are in the city to inspect and map all the public trees. The arborists will be assessing the condition and stability of each tree, looking for any damaged or dead material to be removed, and evaluating any signs of decay or disease.
People may see the arborists walking down city streets collecting information on the trees. They will be wearing bright yellow vests and Davey Resource Group hats.
The city selected the company after it received a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program for $19,000. Shay said Ludington must provide a match for a portion of the value of the inventory, which he plans to provide via staff time, regular tree maintenance, and volunteer efforts.
“Managing tree risk is a primary objective in completing these assessments,” said Lee Mueller, a forestry specialist who is supporting the inventory project in the city. “We will identify any pruning or removal needs in addition to providing detailed computer mapping of all the trees to aid the city in the future planting, planning, and management of its urban forest resources.”
Davey Resource Group arborists will use handheld computers loaded with information and aerial photographs from existing Geographic Information System (GIS) material to mark the location and record specific details of each of the trees.
After the field work is complete, the city will have its inventory data uploaded into an online platform.
“We look forward to receiving this update to our professional data,” Shay said. “The plan is to prioritize tree maintenance and use this information to put together a plan for the overall improvement and expansion of the city’s tree management program.”
“This comprehensive inventory of our public trees will provide information to maximize the long-term benefits of the urban forest for increasing the quality of life in our community,” said Sharon Bradley-Johnson, chair of the city’s tree advisory board. “Trees are vital in absorbing air pollution, reducing stormwater problems, and providing shade and energy conservation, just to mention a few of the roles they play and important benefits they provide to our community.”
Along with the inventory occurring for the project, Ludington will also be provided with inventory management software and an interactive website has been developed to help provide the public with information on its urban forest. Information on individual tree species and benefits will be provided for all public trees across Ludington.
For more information contact Tree Advisory Board Chair Sharon Bradley-Johnson at (989) 854-2740.