When you look at the trees in the park or a forest out in nature, tree inventory is probably far from the first thing that comes to mind. It is, however, vital to the life of the forest (and protection of the ecosystem) and it really should get more attention than it currently receives. Today we’re looking at what tree inventory actually is, and why it’s so important:
Tree inventory is the process of checking up on all that grows in a particular forest or ecosystem and assessing biodiversity and health. It focuses on individual attributes, rather than viewing the community as a whole, in order to gain accurate data on each growth. A tree inventory includes information on species, condition, size, damage and more and is used for both research and planning.
Knowing whether an ecosystem is healthy is crucial to caring for and protecting that which exists within in. By performing regular tree inventory, those who manage forests can keep an eye on the overall health and wellebing of the ecosystem and therefore make informed choices about managing the forest.
Knowing When Intervention Is Required
Another important role that tree inventory plays is letting managers know when intervention is required. For example, perhaps a planting program needs to be established or wildlife in the area requires a boost (or relocation of certain species if there is not ample support for them to live there). This is true whether the forest is a natural one that grows within its own ecosystem or a crafted one placed within suburbia to improve sustainably and improve the local landscape.
Even a few sick growths can have a negative impact on the overall ecosystem. A tree inventory allows these growths to be identified and dealt with. Either by taking steps to assist in recovery, or by removing the growth to protect the wider forest if recovery is not possible.
Tree inventory is also useful for assessing the benefit that the forest provides either to the ecosystem that it supports or the community that it is within. This is done by matching up collected data with data from other sources to see which grows have the most (and least) impact on the overall wellbeing of the community or ecosystem.
If the forest is an urban one, or one in which prior frequently camp or explore, a tree inventory is also useful for improving public safety. As noted above, a single unwell growth can cause issues and these issues become safety concerns when you throw humans into the mix. By identifying and rectifying any issues, management can help minimise risk to those who inhabit or interact with the forest.
Finally, by performing regular tree inventory, the management committee can accurately chart data over time. This is important for gleaning a deeper understanding of the health of the forest, noticing issues that wouldn’t be apparent from a single round of standalone data, and creating forecasts for care that may be required so the team can be prepared or take preventative measures.
Hopefully this article has helped to shed some light on why such an innocuous activity actually carries a lot of weight. If you haven’t had one recently (or ever) it might be just time to schedule a tree inventory for the forest you manage.