City of Reno Counting Trees

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RENO, NV - "So what we are gong to do first, is we are going to double check that this tree is on the master trims list. Which it is,” says local arborist Dale Carlon as he scouts out trees at Idlewild Park.

Carlon sees the forest for the tree.

At least that's what he's been contracted out to do these days.

With help from a Nevada Division of Forestry grant, Carlon will spend the next five months counting trees on city of Reno property.

“That beeping sound is it actually logging and that tells me that I can make my dot and move on to the next tree,” says Carlon.

But he's not using his fingers; instead, he's using a hand-held GIS (geographical information system) to document all kinds of information about the tree, and then he moves on to the next.

“It takes me a minute per tree,” says Carlon.

He continues.

“The city of Reno has an existing inventory that is very old. So we are updating that. Then at the same time on the same device, we are doing an I-TREE inventory; that is what I was telling you about, pulls out carbon sequestration, oxygen output--all of the values of the forest. And then our third component, our GIS department that city of Reno will have a very accurate map and record of every single tree in the city. By going to an automated system like this they can work smarter with fewer people.”

The city will use the information to determine where money and efforts need to go to sustain, or even remove trees.

For the public, once the grid system is put into place, they will be able to go to a website and call up a particular tree and get all kinds of information about it.

The city of Sparks conducted its own tree count a couple of years ago.

Carlon performed that count as well and says you can look up trees in the Rail City and get similar information.