Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 16.7

GreenStep City Best Practices: Environmental Management
Community Forests and Soils No. 16

Add city tree and plant cover that conserves topsoils and increases community health, wealth, quality of life.

Best Practice Action 7

Conduct a tree inventory or canopy study for public and private trees.

  • The i-Tree Tools are a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that helps communities of all sizes strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the urban forest and the environmental, economic and quality of life services that it provides. I-Tree calculates tree canopy coverage percentages for most Minnesota cities, as does this map of city tree canopy coverage from 2013.
  • Tree inventories and canopy studies can be conducted by: 
  • Also, reach out to your county and Soil & Water Conservation District for assistance and possible funding support. 
  • See BPA 16.6 for volunteer and staff training/certifications. 
  • Hear from the Cities of Shorewood and Royalton on How did your city complete a tree inventory? (LMC, 2020) 
  • The International Society for Arboriculture has developed a series of Best Management Practices - Tree Risk Assessment to properly evaluate risks and recommend measures that achieve an acceptable level of risk (ISA, 2017). ISA also provides a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification program. 
  • The Vegetation Risk Management Plan (USDA, 2012) is developed as a tool to help increase public safety after a storm event, maintain optimum urban tree canopy, promote tree health, provide for effective emergency and arboricultural management, and decrease emergency management costs.
1 star Conduct a tree inventory or canopy study on public properties that is less than 10 years old.
2 star Conduct a tree inventory that incorporates private property to better understand trees in the whole community; conduct a community-wide tree canopy study; conduct public property tree inventories every 5 years.
3 star Implement 1- or 2-Star level and: have a qualified professional conduct a tree risk assessment to better prepare for storm and insect/disease damage; analyze a tree canopy study to assess equitable access to green space; evaluate and report on the financial and social benefits of public/private trees. Report Resiliency Hubs and Cooling Centers under BPA 29.1 and heat vulnerability assessments under BPA 29.6.

Who's doing it

Edina - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
In April of 2021 the Ground Cover Survey and Carbon Sequestration Study was finalized, wherein a tree canopy study and the findings garnered from it were included in the Survey.
Additionally, also in 2021 the City of Edina completed their Climate Action Plan wherein the section concerning greenspace and trees, goals of increasing City Tree Cover from 35.9% to 39.5% by 2030 and up to 43% by 2040 are listed. This increase in tree cover will help provide critical climate adaptation services across Edina.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Luther Overholt (City staff) | Loverholt@CI.Edina.MN.US | 952-826-0308
Partners:
Hackensack - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
A tree inventory was conducted in 2020 by the AmeriCorps Forestry member, which counted 18 different tree species currently in the City limits. The most common trees include Paper Birch, Maple (three varieties: silver, sugar, and amur), Norway Spruce, Quaking Aspen, Pine (Red and White), and Ash (Green and White). Increasing the species diversity would be a good strategy to prevent losing a significant portion of tree cover should a disease wipe out a specific variety.
An estimate of tree cover was conducted for the City in 2020 using the iTree online platform. This estimate showed:
• 30.2% tree coverage for the City, which translates to 197 acres of tree coverage.
• At 2 tons of CO2 equivalent sequestered per acre per year, [19] these City trees currently sequester 394
tons of CO2 equivalent annually.
• Additional benefits include removing nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter from
the air.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Gary Dietrich (Community Volunteer) | garydietrich@icloud.com | 612-801-3345
Partners: Americorps - Forestry Corps
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1978
Implementation details:
The forestry department of Fond du Lac Resource Management inventories thousands of acres of forested land each year with the goal of ensuring that, of the 45,000+ acres of tribally owned land, no set of acreage goes more than 10 years without being inventoried. Inventories also include privately and federally owned land.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anthony Mazzini (City Staff) | anthonymazzini@fdlrez.com | 2188787112
Partners:
Mora - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2022
Implementation details:
A canopy study was conducted in 2022 for the City of Mora, MN by a community volunteer using iTree and in consultation with Deanna Pomije, District Manager of the Kanabec Soil and Water Conservation District, and Tony Miller, Forestry Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Alison Holland (Community Volunteer) | alison.holland@me.com | 6123906357
Partners: Kanabec Soil and Water Conservation District and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Detroit Lakes - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
We received an EAB grant for inventory of trees. This is in progress.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Bridget Penton (City Staff) | bpenton@cityofdetroitlakes.com | 218-846-7133
Partners: