Urban Forest

City of Livingston
Application for
Permit 
To Plant Trees
on Public Street Right Of Way
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City of Livingston
Application for
Removal/Trimming/Pruning
of Trees on Boulevard
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Livingston Tree Inventory Analysis Using I-tree Software

Results include:

  • Livingston has approximately 4,172 trees on public property.
  • Ash species accounts for 47% of Livingston’s tree canopy, Maple 11%, and Spruce 10%.
  • Livingston has an old to over-mature aged urban forest.
  • Over 27% of Livingston trees could use some type of pruning.
  • The trees of Livingston are worth almost 18 million dollars.
  • Each citizen in Livingston receives $85.93 each year in environmental benefits from trees.

Recommendations include:

  • Diversify species - Continue planting trees other than Ash, Maple, Spruce and Cottonwood around Livingston.
  • Improve overall tree condition - Immediately address the 165 trees identified as poor, dead, or removed.  Then begin tackling the remaining trees that were recorded as in fair condition.
  • Create an annual work plan - Develop a rotation for tree maintenance and planting where a certain number of trees are pruned or planted each year.
  • Education & Outreach - Continue expanding your Arbor Day celebration each year, while using other opportunities to educate and inform the public about their urban forest.
  • Training - Send tree board members and city staff to tree maintenance training.
  • Funding - Begin to develop a yearly budget for Livingston’s tree program. 

Species Diversity

It is important to diversify tree species “to not put all your eggs in one basket”.  In the event that a disease, bug, or natural event comes along that wipes out one tree species, there would be others to fill the void.  American elm is a prime example.  Elms were planted in rows along many streets across the United States for their beauty and crown symmetry.  Dutch Elm Disease, a fungal disease, wiped out what were once mature, shade-providing boulevard trees in communities throughout the country.  A good goal is to not have any one species make up more than 10% of the total population or 20% of the same genus. In Livingston, Ash species account for 47% of the tree species while Maple species makes up 11 %, Figure 1

Figure 1: City of Livingston Tree Species 

City of LIvingston Tree Species.jpg

Tree Size 

By looking at the size distribution of the urban forest, a correlation can roughly link to guessing the age of the overall stand.  Diameter Breast Height (DBH) was measured on each tree inventoried.  A reverse “J” shaped curve is a good goal to work toward.  As the trees become older, they either die or are removed.  As Figure 2 shows, Livingston has an old to over-mature aged stand of trees.

Figure 2: Diameter of Livingston Trees

Diameter of Livingston Trees.jpg

Tree Condition

Tree failure is one of the most critical concerns in municipal management. Determining a tree’s condition is done by assessing how much deadwood is present in the tree.

Figure 3: Condition of Wood of Livingston's Trees

Condition of Wood of Livingston s Trees.jpg 

Figure 3 illustrates Livingston’s overall tree condition.  Of the trees inventoried, 3,788 trees had less than 15% deadwood.  While 220 trees were in fair condition, 165 trees were poor, dead, or removed. 

Maintenance

Only 56% of the trees were identified as needing no kind of maintenance, while 27 % were identified as needing to be pruned.  142 trees were identified as needing to be removed.  518 were noted as needing watered. 1,139 trees were identified as needing to be pruned. (Figure 4)

Figure 4: Tree Maintenance Needs

Tree Maintenance Needs.jpg 

Public safety, tree health, and long term cost are all reasons to keep trees maintained.  If trees are properly established from a young age, they will require less need for major pruning later.  Trees that are kept pruned produce less damage during wet snows and wind storms saving the community tax dollars.  A pruning cycle, for example a fifteen year pruning cycle, is where a certain amount of trees are pruned in a year and those same trees are pruned in fifteen years. 

Tree Values

There are several ways to calculate a tree’s value.  The table below uses a formula (The Trunk Method) which takes into account regional data, replacement cost, location, condition, and species rating for the region. According to this calculation, The City of Livingston’s urban forest is valued at almost eighteen million dollars.

Tatar maple

645

1,725

0

4,670

0

0

0

0

0

7,040

Plum

806

0

3,129

0

0

0

0

0

0

3,935

Northern hackberry

233

0

0

3,591

6,848

11,191

0

0

0

21,863

Hawthorn

834

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

834

Pine

0

784

0

6,076

0

0

0

0

0

6,860

Oak

1,050

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1,050

Sugar maple

0

0

0

6,075

0

0

0

0

0

6,075

Lodgepole pine

0

0

1,177

0

0

0

0

0

0

1,177

Pinyon pine

0

282

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

282

Northern red oak

109

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

109

Citywide Total

113,074

132,346

705,187

3,114,794

5,646,395

3,960,199

1,880,911

773,387

1,361,085

17,687,378

 

Another way to look at the value of Livingston’s trees is to look at the environmental benefits that the citizens of Livingston receive each year from trees.  I-tree is a module that uses the species, diameter and regional cost to assign a dollar amount to the energy, C02, air quality, storm water, and aesthetic benefits that the trees provide.

In one year the trees of Livingston provide $625,532.00 in environmental values.  The community saves $80,895.00 in energy each year from their trees.  Trees also reduce the need to collect storm water, a savings of $95,856.00 each year for Livingston. The table below breaks out these benefits in terms of dollar values. 

Species Energy CO2 Air Quality Stormwater Aesthetic/Other Total ($)

Green Ash

34,534

7,017

5,451

33,121

199,654

279,778

White Ash

11,409

2,419

1,803

12,460

58,470

86,562

Blue Spruce

5,541

794

-578

13,153

17,301

36,211

Norway Maple

2,697

508

300

2,967

14,591

21,062

Crabapple

506

105

85

252

5,130

6,079

Silver Maple 

2,991 

688 

398 

3,552 

19,102 

26,730 

Boxelder 

3,308 

667 

571 

3,366 

16,533 

24,445 

Mountain Ash 

505 

112 

85 

261 

4,681 

5,644 

Norway Spruce 

2,320 

348 

-223 

5,504 

8,394 

16,343 

White Poplar 

3,540 

430 

801 

5,163 

3,929 

13,864 

Red Maple 

1,143 

227 

147 

1,033 

9,794 

12,344 

Narrowleaf Cottonwood 

3,207 

551 

688 

3,999 

7,265 

15,711 

American Basswood 

972 

143 

76 

765 

6,234 

8,189 

American Elm 

1,426 

275 

243 

1,336 

8,461 

11,741 

Cottonwood 

1,401 

240 

278 

1,682 

4,845 

8,446 

Quaking Aspen 

213 

38 

12 

166 

4,114 

4,545 

Common Chokecherry 

127 

23 

21 

66 

1,286 

1,523 

Ash 

880 

179 

136 

842 

5,438 

7,474 

OTHER STREET TREES 

4,175 

725 

289 

6,167 

27,485 

38,842 

CITYWIDE TOTAL 

80,895 

15,488 

10,584 

95,856 

422,708 

625,532 

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