Staff with the City of Prince Albert are working to figure out how many trees are in the city.
Speaking to paNOW, parks manager for the City of Prince Albert Timothy Yeaman explained the numbers are necessary when it comes to budgeting and management.
“Currently we don’t know how many trees we have within the city and they are worth a considerable amount of money, but unless we know how many there are, what species they are, it’s really hard to determine the value of them,” he said.
Finding out how many and what specific species of trees are in the city is important for the city as the information will help the city’s forestry department shape its strategy for dealing with the urban forest.
One issue Yeaman brought up was being able to keep track of dutch elm disease.
“If we know where all our elms are, we’d be able to do a much better job managing,” he said.
Right now Yeaman estimates the city has catalogued around 700 trees within city limits. There is not any staff dedicated to doing the work full time, as the 10 workers assigned to the forestry department perform a variety of jobs.
“The tree inventory work takes place when we can fit it in,” he said.
When a tree is added to the inventory list, staff mark it with a metal tag. In the future, Yeaman said they plan to use GPS software to keep track of tree markings.
Yeaman said it is going to take years before the city is able to successfully get all of its trees inventoried. He explained this is due in large part to having to go through areas with a large number of trees including Little Red River Park and Kinsmen Park.
“It’s going to be a long term project, so every year we’re going to try and tackle as many trees as we can,” he said.
The tree inventory is a part of the proposed forestry master plan, which will direct the city’s policies and approach in regards to taking care of the city’s urban forest. This will also guide what trees are planted inside the city limits and help to develop a regular maintenance schedule.
“How we do forestry in the city is going to change,” he said.
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