Friday, February 23 , 2018, 6:55 pm | Fair 53º


Santa Maria Plants Seeds for First Tree Inventory

City trees along Bradley Road in Santa Maria. Click to view larger
City trees along Bradley Road in Santa Maria. (City of Santa Maria)

Santa Maria’s urban forest is about to get its first-ever community tree inventory using Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

This systematic information-gathering will help improve the sound management of the more than 45,000 city street trees that beautify the community’s quality of life, the city said.
“During the inventory process, which will take a couple of years, locations of missing trees and potential tree-planting sites will be identified,” said Dennis Smitherman, management analyst for the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.

“The grant funding will also allow the department to plant 500 new or replacement trees,” he said.
The project is made possible by a $259,000 grant awarded by CalFire. As part of the inventory, other information will be documented including GPS coordinates, tree health, and overall tree quality.

West Coast Arborists, Inc., the city’s contractor, will perform the data collection of street trees, stumps, and vacant sites within the city.

Each tree site will be designated an identification number, and characteristics of the tree will be recorded and maintained. All inventory and information gathered will be maintained in online software program.

The city said efficient record-keeping will enable it to schedule a maintenance cycle for such trees based on budget and necessity. Proper management will improve the health of the trees and promote additional tree planting when needed, the city said.

Questions may be directed to the Recreation and Parks Department,  925-0951, ext. 2260.

— Mark van de Kamp for city of Santa Maria.

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