Pictured: Dr. Joe Smith, Cambridge Tree Commission, and Chuck Fair, Byesville Rotary President.
Dr. Joe Smith brought the tools he uses for a tree survey and showed the Byesville Rotarians how to calculate the value of a tree. Smith stated that “…trees are valuable for more than just their lumber, and their value can be calculated.” To calculate the monetary value of a tree, Smith used a free app—the National Tree Benefit Calculator at www.treebenefits.com.
Smith began by estimating the diameter of a maple tree located outside of the Rotarians meeting place. He then input this into the app and added the tree species, the zip code, and how the land was being used. The app instantly estimated the total value of the tree in terms of its value to the property owner
Values used include the amount of gas and electricity saved because the tree reduces costs of heating and cooling. Other benefits include reduction of damage caused by storm water runoff, reduction of air pollutants like smoke and dust, reduction of carbon dioxide, and the amount of value the tree adds to the property as part of the landscaping.
Smith, a member of the Cambridge Tree Commission, is currently making a survey of every tree located on public land in the city of Cambridge. Smith stated that his long term goal is to reduce the cost of tree maintenance and removal for Cambridge and reduce the potential of damage to property by trees such as the damage that occurred during the 2012 straight line wind event.
Smith explained that city owned trees are “…trees that grow in city parks and other municipal properties, and in the tree lawn located between the sidewalk and streets or alleys. He estimates that the survey will take 3 to 5 years to complete. Smith stated that he would love to have help from anyone who loves trees or who want to learn more about trees. Just contact the Cambridge Tree Commission at 740-439-1240 or www.cambridgeoh.org.
As part of the survey, Smith evaluates 13 characteristics of each tree which includes information such as species, sidewalk condition, presence of overhead wires, health of the tree, and need for maintenance. Smith stated that basically all this information boils down to deciding if “…the right tree is in the right place.” For example, trees which have roots that spread on the surface and not good candidates for planting in the tree lawn because they will break up the sidewalk, lead to trips and falls, make it difficult to use a stroller, and cost the city money to fix the sidewalk.
Connect with Byesville Rotary at: www.Byesvillerotary.blogspot.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Byesville-Rotary/256548047818283. The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Walk-ins are welcome at the club’s meeting.