Street, Park and Public Property Tree Inventory
Davey Resource Group, Inc. “DRG” completed a geographic information systems (GIS) based tree inventory of the City of Big Rapids, Michigan in July 2020. All tree and stump sites along the city’s street right of way (ROW) parks were inventoried. The City of Big Rapids designated a total of nine public park areas for DRG to collect site data for the tree inventory. These include Big Rapids City Hall, the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, Clay Cliffs Natural Area, the Community Garden site at the Big Rapids Community Library, Hemlock Park, Mecosta County Courthouse, Mecosta County Jail, Northend Riverside Park, and River Street Park.
City of Big Rapids, Michigan Tree Inventory
The following is a statistical summary of the tree population:
- 3,825 sites were inventoried, including 3,770 trees and 55 stumps.
- The inventory found approximately 79 species representing 44 genera.
- The genus Acer (maple) comprised 57% of the tree population, followed by Pyrus (pear), 9%; Ulmus (elm), 4%; Gleditsia (honeylocust), 3%; Picea (spruce), 3%; Pinus (pine), 3%; Tilia (linden), 3%; Ginkgo (ginkgo), 2%; Malus (apple), 2%; Prunus (cherry), 2%; and all other genera, 12%.
- There were 594 (16%) Good condition trees, 2,825 (75%) Fair, and 335 (9%) Poor trees, and 16 (0%) Dead trees.
- Recommended maintenance tasks include 344 (9%) Removals; 696 (18%) Prunes; 1,814 (47%) Discretionary Prunes; 916 (24%) Young Tree Training prunes; and 55 (1%) Stump Removals.
- DRG identified 504 (14%) High Priority trees, 507 (13%) Moderate Priority trees, and 2,759 (73%) Low Priority trees.
The tree inventory is an important planning tool that should be used by the City of Big Rapids to establish a systematic program for tree care, which will help determine budget, staff, and equipment needs. Implementation of the maintenance recommendations will improve public safety and help guide future management decisions. When properly maintained, trees return social, economic, and environmental value to the community. These benefits greatly exceed the time and money invested in planting, pruning, protection, and removal.
Some of the environmental benefits trees provide include: shading and acting as windbreaks, which decreases residential energy consumption; slowing and reducing the amount of stormwater that reaches storm drains, rivers, and lakes; reducing noise levels; removing airborne pollutants; producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide; stabilizing the soil by controlling wind and water erosion; and providing habitat for wildlife. Additionally, the aesthetic benefits of properly maintained and well´┐Ż€┬placed trees are numerous. Attractive areas increase property values and appeal to commercial businesses. These benefits and the beauty trees provide improve the quality of life throughout the City of Big Rapids for its residents and visitors.
Davey Resource Group, Inc.