[Plant-education] Campus tree inventory

Bob Wise via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by wise from uwosh.edu)
Thu Jun 5 09:07:44 EST 2008

We are setting up a system to inventory all campus trees at UW 
Oshkosh and I am curious if other campuses have undertaken a similar 
project and how yours turned out.  We estimate there are 1200-1500 
trees to consider.  We'll worry about smaller, "non-tree" permanent 
plantings (holly, dogwood, sumac) next year.

Basically, our plan is to:

1.  determine coordinates of every individual tree using a hand-held GPS device

2.  collect material from each species (but probably not every 
individual), dry, mount, identify and archive in our herbarium

3.  number each accession with a three series number such as x.y.z 
where x = genus, y = species and z = particular individual.  The x 
(genus) number could also be organized such that 000-099 is reserved 
for pines, 100-199 = spruces, 200-299 = oaks, etc.....

4.  generate a web-based, interactive CADD based map so that clicking 
on one Quercus rubra, for instance, would highlight all of the other 
red oaks on campus.

Our intended audiences are the Chancellor (in support of a 
multifaceted Campus Sustainability plan that includes recycling, 
energy conservation, biodiversity, etc.), the Facilities and Grounds 
department (who would like to know what trees we have, which ones we 
can afford to lose and which new ones to plant), the Biology 
department (in support of our botany curriculum) and the Science 
Outreach Office (for the development of such tools as a campus tree 
guide and study guides for local community K-12 outreach sessions). 
Various inventories and incomplete maps have been generated for UWO 
since at least the 1940's, but now it is time to focus our resources 
and make a comprehensive study.

We recently secured money to hire a summer intern and hope to get 
started locating trees in a week or two, hence our interest in 
designing an inventory system that will be easy to use and yet serve 
everyone's needs.

I can't help but think that other campuses have done a similar 
inventory.  Please send me your good ideas.

Robert R. Wise
Dept. of Biology
UW Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 424-3404 (tel)
(920) 424-1101 (fax)
Have a look at The Structure and Function of Plastids at 

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