Campus Tree Inventory

Project Lead: Katherine Walsh, Jim Horner, Theron Klos, Phil Cody, Lorraine Freeland

Sponsor: The Green Initiative Fund, Capital Projects, Grounds Services

TGIF Grant: $20,288.30

Project Theme: Habitat Restoration

Project Location: Main Campus Tree Map

2013 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: This project will inventory the main campus trees for the purpose of creating a tree database system for campus maintenance and applying for tree campus USA status. The project will be staffed by paid UC Berkeley students and supervised by joint efforts from Facilities Services and The Green Initiative Fund.

Goals: Implement a tree management database for campus; a database is needed for maintenance and tree care, long-term planning, and annual budgeting. There is also no comprehensive online campus tree resource for the public. The inventory will collect all missing tree data points, develop a management system, and create an online public guide and tree map.

2013 Accomplishments

  • The project team hired Lorraine Freeland as a project consultant.
    • Lorraine's research is focused on updating the campus tree guide, which has not been done since the 1970s. The guide provides detailed descriptions on the types of trees present on campus and their historical and ecological values to the campus. The guide has historically been in print form. This project will seek to create both print and online forms of the guide. 
    • Lorraine is also cross-checking her research with the research of Matthew Hughes, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, whose master's thesis focused on identifying and mapping the trees of main campus.
  • The project team has identified a list of attributes to collect when inventorying the trees:
    • Species Identification
    • Country or region of origin
    • Photograph
    • Location on Campus
    • Diameter at Breast Height
    • Tree Height
    • Crownspread
    • Condition/Health (1 = poor, 5 = excellent)
      • Vigor
      • Root Collar
      • Trunk Condition
      • Limb Structure
      • Foliage
      • Maintenance Needs
    • Date planted
    • Planting Space Dimensions
    • Fall color, Flower color
    • Risk (L-M-H)
    • Specimen(s) (y-n)
    • Proximity to Utilities
    • Interactions with Sidewalks, impervious, or pervious surfaces
    • Species/Photograph
  • Al Vera from Facilities Services successfully uploaded Matthew's data onto a departmental GIS-based map. The map displays a tree layer, with each individual tree having a pop-up box that can be clicked on or off, providing information regarding all the selected attributes.
    • Student interns will be hired in summer 2014 to collect the missing attributes.
  • Katherine Walsh collected resources from the Arbor Day Foundation at AASHE 2013, and contacts in San Jose and at the state level. The necessary equipment for the inventory has been selected and will not be purchased until the project is ready to hire student interns.
  • The project received approval in January 2014 to adjust the timeline and the scope of the consultant's work. It was determined that students could not be hired until additional work was completed by the consultant from January-June 2014. This includes:
    • identifying tree species around buildings; changing text in appendix; making appropriate edits to Campus Tree Book; delineating boundaries on map- all at the following locations:
      • 81 sites of mid-sized buildings (3 hours/site)
      • 19 sites of larger size (residence halls, creek sections; 6 hours/site)
      • 1 large site (full sweep of Strawberry Canyon)

2014 Accomplishments
  • Project budget was changed, with $18,350 going towards paying a consultant to work with Jim Horner, Campus Landscape Architect, to visit 101 campus sites and identify trees, and update/rewrite the Campus Tree Book.
  • Final edits on the Campus Tree Book are being written by Lorraine and Jim
  • Lorraine has agreed to be available to help train the inventory’s student interns once hired.
  • Jim contacted Louise Mozingo, a Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning for possible sponsorship of the publication of the book. Louise has expressed interest.
  • Dave Johnson has taken over as Campus Landscape Architect due to Jim’s retirement and will continue to work on the tree inventory project.
  • Katherine received resources information from the National Arbor Day Foundation and Elizabeth Lanham, the San Jose city arborist.
  • Megan Maurino, a student employee with Facilities Services, will serve as a student liaison assisting with the project and the hiring of the inventory’s student interns.
  • The attribute collection list has been adjusted after a meeting with Dave, Megan, Sal Genito, and Al Vera:
    • Diameter at breast height (dbh) or tree caliber
      • above 4-6 DBH
    • common name
    • botanical name
    • type
      • evergreen
      • deciduous
      • conifers
      • palms
    • Health (Good/Fair/Poor)
    • Height (look at Davis)
      • ranges
      • 0-10
      • 10-20
      • 20-30
      • 30-50
      • 50+
    • Crown spread (look at Davis)
      • ranges
      • 0-10
      • 10-20
      • 20-30
      • 30-50
      • 50+
    • Location (Building, East/West/North/South)
    • Ground Plane
      • natural/riparian
      • turf
      • hardscape
      • ground cover
    • Special
      • Surface Roots?
      • Pollarding?
      • Cables?
    • The project is looking to hire six students who can work in teams of two on the inventory. Students will be trained; preference will be given to forestry students who have completed forestry camp and have GIS experience or training.
  • Sal Genito and Katherine Walsh have agreed to split the costs of the student interns’ pay.
  • Free i-Tree software will be used upon completion of the inventory in order to calculate the environmental and financial benefits of the campus forest.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.