Blog Post By Jason Galliger

Why do we count trees?

Have you ever wondered where a Casey Trees’ tree comes from?

Well most of our trees come directly from the Casey Tree farm in Berryville, Virginia — around 1600 a year to be more precise.

Currently, we grow roughly 60% of  trees that we plant in the District at the farm.

That’s a lot of trees. Keeping track of all of them can be tough. Which is why we decided to conduct our first farm tree inventory.

We’ve conducted tree inventories before, and are currently conducting some in D.C.’s local parks.

But a farm tree inventory is special. It allows us to know the amount of different tree species we have on the farm, their health, growth rate and other valuable data points.

Having this information not only helps us keep track of our trees through their entire life-cycle with Casey Trees but it also helps us plan which trees will go where in future community and school tree plantings.

That way we can work with project organizers and other partners to help plant a species-diverse urban forest. Because, as we know, having a diverse urban forest helps protect trees against pests and diseases, like Emerald Ash Borer.

The Process

It’s pretty simple.

Each tree on our farm has a tag with a unique QR code. Using an iPad app we scan each tree into our system. This data is then migrated and merged into our CRM and GIS systems — allowing us to track each tree from the farm to its final tree planting site. Or as we like to say, from its cradle to home.

Once the tree has been scanned, each trunk is measured to determine growth rate, which in turn can indicate the health of the tree. If a tree isn’t growing as quickly it could be an indication of external stressors, like pests and diseases, root-girdling, lack of water or more. If a tree does present signs of infection, our arborists will try and treat them.

Want to participate? Join us for one of our park inventories — see you in the field!

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