City Trees

September/October 2016

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

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24 City Trees 24 City Trees I used to think tree inventory software was laborious and even boring. Maybe that resonates with you, too. Just hearing the words "tree inventory software" might con - jure up bad memories of expensive GPS units, a steep learning curve involving both new hardware and software, and cumber- some processes to format and transfer data. With advancements in web and mobile map- ping technology, my opinion has changed. Urban foresters are under increasing pres- sure to be accountable, efficient, trans- parent, and responsive to the public and upper management. Fortunately, tree inventory software no longer need be tedious, cost-prohibitive, or time-inten - sive. Inventorying trees and using more advanced software features like reports, queries, and work orders has never been so simple. All you need is a tablet or smartphone. You don't need GPS or GIS hardware and software. You don't even need to install a program from a CD or DVD because web and mobile software can be subscription-based, accessed through a web browser. Milwaukee County Parks & Zoo and the City of Aspen, Colorado recently launched online, web browser-based map and database applications to manage their street and park trees. Their case studies follow, after which I discuss some of the features and functionality to look for in tree inventory software. Web and Mobile Tree Inventory Software: Case Studies & Considerations by Ian Hanou, Founder, Plan-It Geo, Milwaukee County Parks and Zoo Alex Krutsch and Matthew Heritsch (Milwaukee County Zoo) and Ramsey Radakovich (Supervisor, Milwaukee County Parks) The Milwaukee County Zoo's forestry program was initiated four years ago in order to better man- age the Zoo's heavily wooded, 200-acre (81 ha) property. The imminent threat of emerald ash borer (EAB), deferred maintenance of individual trees, and plans for new exhibits that would encroach upon the Zoo's urban forest made it apparent that a tree inventory was needed. Our main goals were to gain a better understanding of species diver- sity, to locate the old growth individuals on the property, and to identify trees that posed a hazard to public safety or Zoo infrastructure. Having this information would allow us to make sound man- agement decisions moving forward. In order to conduct an inventory that would meet our goals, the Zoo and County Parks developed a list of needs and requirements. We wanted a web-based system so that the information would be broadly accessible to Zoo administration, decision makers throughout Milwaukee County, and even the public at large. We also wanted a system that allowed for

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