Back in February we posted about a project that aimed to map all tree pits within 2 blocks of the canal with the aid of TreeKIT, one of our partners. After reviewing the planning phase detailed in the previous blog post, we were all set to go through with the project.

Through TreesNY’s Citizen Pruner Program, 15 volunteers were trained for the purposes of this project. The Citizen Pruner Program, as described in its website, taught volunteers about “tree biology, street tree identification, common tree problems, tree stewardship, and how to prune dead and damaged limbs.”

The ultimate goal of the tree mapping project was to conduct an inventory of all existing street trees and empty tree pits within approximately 2 blocks of the Gowanus Canal, and with the help of TreeKIT, format and manage the street tree mapping data for public use as well as the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR). This information will help identify potential tree planting sites in addition to preparing a Tree Management Plan; the Conservancy hopes to engage more volunteers in the Gowanus community to steward local trees. The Management Plan would include a mobile platform where volunteers can log their stewardship activity.

In order to collect the data, the 15 volunteers who underwent the Citizen Pruning Program were designated as ‘Mapping Stewards’ and led volunteers around the proposed mapping site to collect the data.

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The zones seen here served as guidelines for which areas the Mapping Stewards and their fellow mappers covered.

The Tree Mapping event was a great success – see the finished map on TreeKIT’s website! You can zoom in to individual trees to view details such as species, DBH (diameter at breast height), and its health.

Among the data collected are the following:

  • Out of the 294 block segments mapped, 113 had no trees, or 38.4% of block segments
  • Total amount of living trees: 1009
  • Total standing dead trees: 12
  • Total stumps: 22
  • Total number of tree beds: 1093
  • Total empty tree beds: 50
  • Median tree diameter DBH: 6.0″
  • Biggest tree DBH: 38.2″
  • Living trees with genus and species unknown: 11

Finally, check out some of these pictures of the data collection process in action!

Discussing the data gathered.

Tree mappers on the move!

Measuring the DBH.

We would like to thank our partners at TreeKIT and TreesNY for collaborating with us on this project. We also want to thank all of our Mapping Stewards and volunteers for assisting us! None of this could have been possible without all of you.