Oswego Moves Ahead With Tree Inventory Plan

OSWEGO, NY – The Common Council this week accepted the proposal submitted by Davey Resource Group to conduct the Oswego Tree Inventory.

Oswego is an official Tree City
Oswego is an official Tree City

The New York State DEC awarded the city an Urban and Community Forest Grant of $25,000 for a tree inventory of the Port City’s street tree and planting site GIS I-Ped inventory and to establish a benchmark of the number and condition relative to size, health and age of the trees in the city.

Of the (two) proposals the city received to do the work, it was deemed Davey Resource Group would provide the best service, councilors said.

The inventory is “very important,” according to June MacArthur, one of Oswego’s tree stewards.

“With the different killing invasive species, we need to know what percentage of each tree that could be killed by them. If 50 percent of our tree canopy could be gone in two years, we need to know that to plan; how do we fight these bugs? Do we use chemicals that are very expensive and damaging to the water supply that we drink? Do we remove the bigger ash trees now while they’re healthy like Rochester has done?” she said. “To wait until the large trees have been affected by the EAB could make the take-down of such trees more dangerous and expensive.”

With a tree inventory and condition of the trees, Oswego will have viable information that the city can take to FEMA, she added.

“If we have an epidemic and a large percentage of our canopy gets removed, we’d be able to get money to replace and take down trees,” MacArthur explained. “Without an inventory, we get nothing toward our canopy.”

This inventory will provide detailed data on each tree, the exact species, cultivar, size, condition, GPS location and more.

“In the event of a snow, ice or wind storm we can apply for specific disaster relief for replanting as Buffalo did, using their inventory. Our money will come back to us very quickly in that event,” MacArthur added. “It also helps greatly in maintenance planning and species diversity in our planting program. Over the next five years we will be attacked by the Emerald Ash borer and the inventory will tell us the size of that loss. (Paying for the inventory) is money well spent.”

Phil and June MacArthur are members of the Oswego City Tree Advisory Board.