Princeton’s streets are lined with trees, but many of those trees have been cut down because of their poor condition.
Now, the Davey Resource Group is conducting a town-wide inventory of all trees within Princeton’s right-of-way to assess a tree’s health and to offer guidance on future tree plantings. The so-called street trees are maintained by the town.
The municipal tree survey began Nov. 7, and it is expected to be completed by the end of December, officials said. The Ohio-based Davey Resource Group was awarded a contract for $125,000 for field work to identify the trees and for software earlier this year.
The Davey Resource Group’s urban foresters are in the middle of the process of locating trees, planting sites and stumps along street rights-of-way and in public parks and properties. There are an estimated 19,000 trees.
The town conducted a municipal street tree inventory about 20 years ago using volunteers, but the database is outdated, officials said.
A new field survey of the municipal street trees is needed to provide the town with a better understanding of the urban forest and its needs, Municipal Arborist Taylor Sapudar said.
The inventory of street trees will alert the town of the potential for tree failure due to pests and insects, Sapudar said. It will also guide spending decisions based on the specific condition of a tree.
The survey will offer guidance on which dead or decayed trees need to be removed immediately. It will also offer guidance on which trees with disease or pest problems can be treated to save or extend the tree’s life, and which healthy trees can be treated to prevent problems.
The inventory will assist Princeton in establishing a scope and timetable for tree work based on the priority ratings of the recommendations, the established costs and the town’s budget, Sapudar said.
The tree inventory report also will provide a breakdown by tree species, he said. It will highlight any over-represented species and serve as a guide for new plantings to ensure species diversity. This will protect the urban forest from devastation by a single pest or disease.
The Davey Resource Group’s experts will suggest planting sites for new trees, based on factors such as growing space, overhead utilities and proximity to signs, lights and intersections, officials said.