In order to plan the future of the urban forest, we need a catalog of what trees are already there, how big they are, and how well they are doing. In urban forestry, we use a tree inventory as a tool to understand what we are managing and what resources are needed to ensure continued benefits and services for our communities. Based on the health of certain tree species, we can determine which species are thriving in the different microclimates around Los Angeles and should be planted again in those areas, or not, as appropriate. We also can make better and more timely decisions about how to respond to pest and disease issues within the urban forest and a host of other management activities can be improved using this data. Ultimately, the tree inventory is a key component and building block that will inform our Urban Forest Management Plan.
In addition to cataloging trees, their size and health, the tree inventory will also show us where there is space to plant new trees - e.g., the size and location of empty tree wells within the existing parkways. This data will also be very valuable for planning where trees will be planted in the future and for understanding what additional resources may be needed to achieve some of the City’s canopy goals including those set forth in LA's Green New Deal.
It is so exciting to watch this StreetsLA project move forward. You can see the trees as they are added to the inventory on a regular basis on our inventory system and see the reports for completed Neighborhood Councils on the StreetsLA site. We are celebrating more than 100,000 locations (trees and vacant sites) that have been catalogued to date!