Where are our trees?
As we continue to plant trees across the Imperial Valley, it’s essential that we properly monitor their overall health. To do this, we created the Imperial Valley Urban Forest Tree Map.
How does it work?
When one of our Program trees are planted, we send a member of our Green House Gas (GHG) tracking team to the location to begin our recording process. Our team member records the trees’ GIS location, measures the height and circumference the tree and then takes a real time photograph. Once this information is input in our system, our team member looks for signs of overall health and wellbeing to record on our back-end tree condition portion of our system.
These signs include, but are not limited to: leaf condition, weather tolerance, moisture level, soil permeability and berm build.
Tree condition notes are then recorded and all information is uploaded to the tree map. Within the first year that each tree is planted, a member of our GHG tracking team will revisit the locations to update the condition notes of each tree on a quarterly basis. After year one, our GHG tracking team will check in with each tree on an a bi-annual basis.
Our tree map is live and can be viewed by the public at any time. Each planted tree is represented by a small dot. When clicked, each dot will enlarge to show the specific tree’s location, photo and environmental benefit.
Why Is It Important?
The IVUF Tree Map is an outlet for our internal education team to showcase the importance of trees in a user-friendly format. Through our system, users can see the real-time benefit of the trees in a digitally visualized format.
We’ve uses this map in presentations with local school districts, City Councils, and elementary teachers. In the future, IVUF plans to train local teachers to use our system as an in-classroom education tool. In addition, IVUF will have community education trainings on our map, as part of our Imperial Valley Tree Steward course.
Green House Gas
In recent years, there has been immense research in the field of Green House Gas (GHG) in connection with trees. In short, trees are environmental powerhouses with the ability to absorb Carbon Dioxide that’s emitted into our atmosphere. In the IVUF Tree Map, the amount of CO2 absorbed and stored within each tree is calculated and recorded.
When a user clicks on an individual tree, they are automatically shown the tree’s measured GHG benefit. Based on this information, an estimate of the tree’s monetary benefit is additionally recorded and stored. Through this data, users can visually see the benefit of not only each individual tree, but our Urban Forest as a whole.
There are many factors that contribute to the health of an Urban Forest. If City officials and community members have a grasp on the approximation of alive and dead trees in any given City, they are well on their way to understanding what steps must be taken to help their Urban Forest thrive.
Through this map, IVUF team members are creating a new standard for planting and maintaining trees on City property throughout the Imperial Valley. While new trees are added daily, the City of El Centro is working to also monitor and track previously planted trees. Our goal is to create a a comprehensive tree inventory that can be used to monitor each tree’s health and longevity.
As part of our Free Trees Program, El Centro residents and business owners may be eligible for up to 3 FREE TREES in their yard.
Sign up for your free try on our partner website. Enter your El Centro address and then trace the outline of your house (do not include your yard, just your physical house). Once complete, you will be directed to a list of trees to choose from. Select your tree, then place it where you’d like it in your yard.
PRO TIP: the website will tell you how much money you will save in energy costs depending on where you place your tree. If you’d like to save as much as possible, play around with the location and watch the energy savings either increase or decrease.
Once you select your species and location, follow the prompts to submit your tree order. A member of our team will reach out to you with planting dates and put you on the schedule for your FREE TREE planting!
West Coast Arborist, a professional tree care company, will deliver and plant your tree on your selected planting date. They will do the initial tree watering, and provide proper tree care information. All we ask is that you take care of your brand new tree!