The University of Connecticut
Extension Forest describes tree inventory as the gathering of accurate
information on the health and diversity of the urban forest. How
many street trees are there? What kind? In what condition are they?
You cannot manage the urban forest effectively unless you know its
condition. Tree inventories are an essential tool of good management.
Before you can truly manage your urban forest, you must know what
you have, where it is and what condition it is in. Having a tree
inventory is valuable and essential in developing any real management
It is especially helpful in mitigating liability should a tree
cause damage or injury. Having a tree inventory can also help in
managing tree care, planting, pruning and removing trees in a cost-effective
manner. But, in order for the inventory to maintain its value, it
must be kept up-to-date as removals and additions are made as well
as periodically noting the conditions of all existing trees.
There are many ways to approach a tree inventory. These methods
of data collection will be determined by your community’s
resources and the extent of knowledge that can be gained. In general,
the more that you want to be able to do, the more expensive your
project will be.
The main elements of the inventory will include a description of
data collection methodologies, trees inventoried, condition of the
trees, tree maintenance needs and hazards, tree values and an urban
risk management guide.