The Crown Hill Tree Inventory
The Crown Hill Tree Inventory was created in 2003 by Purdue University's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and was funded by the DNR Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Hoover Family Foundation, and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. This inventory includes a database of 4,156 trees representing 130 species. It notes the tree's location, size, and condition – all valuable information used by the Crown Hill staff to maintain this large urban forest. These trees are marked with small round or rectangular silver tags, which should not to be confused with the blue and yellow plastic Tree Map and Tree Tour tags.
The Importance of Trees
Trees are valuable assets. They are one of the more important parts of the community's infrastructure that contributes materially to the quality of life. They show us beauty and grace and provide homes for birds and animals. But, they also provide numerous environmental benefits. They reduce the heat island effect so prevalent in our concrete laden cities. During the photosynthesis process, leaves sequester carbon and produce oxygen, a vital function for life. Trees also remove pollutants from the air and aid in reducing soil erosion. When leaves intercept raindrops, they slow down the infiltration of water into the soil, thereby recharging the groundwater and reducing the flow of water into our storm water systems. They provide privacy screens, noise abatement, and shield us from unsightly views. So, besides being a pretty face for our communities, trees do benefit us greatly.
Purpose of a Tree Inventory
Because of these valuable benefits, maintaining healthy mature trees is important, for many benefits are only afforded us when trees develop a canopy and actually become an urban forest. Therefore, an inventory to assess the status of our urban forest is an important step in caring for our community's trees. Trees also represent a fiscal resource to the community. An inventory provides a snapshot in time of the structure of the urban canopy. It is a useful tool for planning and budgeting, for the development of maintenance schedules, for identifying locations for new trees, creating a diverse tree population, and for identifying risk potential of the trees. This inventory provides data on the number of trees, individual species composition, relative condition of the urban forest, and potential problems or situations of the Crown Hill Cemetery trees.