By Charles Oliver
Dalton, GA (October 13, 2009)- No one knows exactly how many trees are growing along Dalton city streets. Nor do they know how healthy those trees are. But the city should know both of those things, and many more facts about its “urban forest” by the end of 2010, city arborist Kris Thomas said.
“The objective is to get this information on street trees, those that are on the right of way of the roughly 175 miles of city streets,” he said. The tree inventory will be funded by a $20,000 grant from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Employees of the North Georgia Regional Commission will be working over the next year to not only count the trees, but measure their height and diameter and general health, by looking at things such as its leaves and bark, and use global positioning satellites to enter their precise location onto maps.
“This will let us know how many trees we have, what species they are, what their sizes are. If we know the size, we can tell how old they are,” Thomas said. “It can help us determine where we can plant more trees and where we need to schedule maintenance.” The data will also let the city know how well the trees do at providing shade and reducing stormwater runoff.
Veronica French, Downtown Dalton Development Authority marketing director, said maintaining the city’s trees improves the city’s quality of life and makes it more attractive to visitors. “It develops a sense of place,” she said. “It gives people a better feeling than just concrete.”
Dalton Daily Citizen- Dalton’s urban forest to be inventoried