By Kieran Austin
For three days this week, the village of Cold Spring had an inventory taken of all of its street trees. Run through the Cornell University Cooperative Extension, a team of eight people, including myself, worked to identify and document all of the trees on village property. The team was made up of six adults, all of them having past experience in street tree inventories, and two students, myself and fellow Haldane High School sophomore Alec Lane, who, prior to this program, had absolutely no background of working with trees.
On Monday, we were split up into pairs or groups of three and sent out to map the diversity of the trees in Cold Spring and note the conditions of trees in need of pruning or even consults from arborists. Our inability to identify trees the first morning slowed down our group, but after that we got the hang of things, and characteristics of certain species became strikingly obvious (now I will never misidentify a Norway maple ever again).
The tools we were given for this project included a GPS and a PDA that we entered all of the information into, along with a special metal tape measure that measured the diameter of each tree. After identifying the species, measuring diameter, and writing down the latitude and longitude of each tree, we evaluated the health and maintenance needs of each tree to determine whether it was hazardous or whether it was a healthy and happy tree.
The information we gathered will be collected into a report that displays the state of Cold Spring’s urban forestry and a plan for the village street trees will be presented by the team coordinator, Brenda Cagle. This report from the inventory should be very helpful in deciding whether or not new trees need to be planted and, more importantly, figuring out how can we best maintain the population and diversity of trees in our community. Photo by A. Rooney
Kieran Austin will be entering his sophomore year at Haldane in the fall.