Pittsburgh Street Tree Inventory
In 2014, The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) and the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission (PSTC) worked together to fund a comprehensive inventory of the city’s street tree population.
An inventory allowing for a full comparison to be considered on the state of Pittsburgh’s urban forest had not been completed since 2005. Since then, WPC has led the implementation of the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh project, which resulted in the planting of approximately 23,000 street trees by 2014. Additionally, PSTC and Tree Pittsburgh managed major tree pruning and removals during this time.
The Davey Resource Group, a division of the Davey Tree Expert Company, was contracted by WPC to complete the street tree inventory in 2014. Three important documents were produced as a result of the Street Tree Inventory: a 10-year Street Tree Management Plan and budget, and an iTree Eco Analysis. These documents enable Pittsburgh’s urban forestry partners to advocate for additional support and resources for the city’s forestry programs. These documents also help paint a picture of the city’s existing programs and a vision for the urban forest and the benefits it provides. Links to these documents are found below.
Two other significant developments from the project include a cloud-based tree management system custom designed to be used by the City of Pittsburgh, WPC and Tree Pittsburgh. This tree information is also available via a public interface called My TreeKeeper, which can be accessed here: http://pittsburgh.mytreekeeper.com.
Listed below are just a few highlights determined after the completion of the Street Tree Inventory.
- There are 33,498 street trees within the City of Pittsburgh, an increase of almost 4,000 trees since 2005.
- The majority of Pittsburgh’s street trees (over 80%) are in good condition, an increase of health by almost 10% since 2005.
- The appraised value of Pittsburgh’s street tree population is estimated at more than $51 million.
- 15 million gallons of stormwater are absorbed by street trees annually.
- Savings in reduced energy usage amount to roughly $96,500 per year.
- Approximately 4.4 million pounds of carbon are stored in Pittsburgh’s street trees.
- The city receives $1.51 in benefits for every $1 spent on municipal forestry practices.