Trees do a lot more than just look nice. Urban trees do everything from improving moods to help a city withstand the effects of climate change.
The Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute is working to compile a statewide urban forest map. They want to help cities close the gaps in tree cover so everyone can benefit.
Tyler VanVlerah does tree inventories for Davey Resource Group. In February, he walked almost every block of downtown Columbus making a note of each tree he saw — including its size, type, and condition. It may seem tedious, but VanVlerah says having this information is really valuable for cities.
“Because you can’t really manage what you don’t know, right?” he says.
Columbus is one of more than 50 cities in Indiana that have or are working on tree inventories. VanVlerah says communities are starting to realize that they can’t take their trees for granted. Trees can help make towns more resilient to climate change and boost their economies.