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Oxford hires professional tree inventory service

To help know how many trees exist on public property and their condition, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved hiring a professional company to do an inventory of Oxford’s trees.

The Davey Resource Group, a division of The Davey Tree Expert Company out of Kentucky, will inventory the trees and include them into the city’s GPS mapping system.

Davey Resource Group’s GIS-based tree inventory will be performed using preprogrammed computers that collect tree location and a set of defined tree and site attributes.

“This gives us a way to have an inventory and be part of our system and one that can be updated by our staff with a mobile device in the field in real time,” said Cowan Hunter, co-chair of the Oxford Tree Board. “You can’t manage well if you don’t know what you actually have and what shape what you actually have is in.”

Davey Resource Group will identify the location of each street tree, the species, size — including the number of stems on trunks, condition, whether a tree needs to be removed or pruned, and the likelihood of the tree will survive after being affected or impacted by construction or insect or disease problems.

According to a proposal by DRG, the inventory should take about 10 weeks to complete.

Fees for the work done by DRG will range from about $27,000 to $47,000 depending on the number of trees being inventoried.

Hunter told the aldermen the funds to pay for the inventory will come from a grant received earlier this year and from the city’s Tree Mitigation Fund, which comes from developers who pay into the fund when they cannot mitigate the same number of trees removed from a construction site on the same property.

“We’re been trying for a long time to get an inventory done,” Hunter said. “This will help us in a lot of different ways in terms of managing the trees on public property, knowing where we might need to plant more trees and where we may need to remove some.”