Camilla Cook: Tree Inventory Update #1

Hello everyone! As my research project was mentioned in my introduction provided by Sherrie, I will get right into the work I have done so far! 

My inventory consists of collecting data on location (street), tree species, diameter at breast height (dbh), degree/percentage + distance (to calculate tree height), soundness (condition) of the bark, and comments/notes.

As of today (this post), my field work has consisted of surveying and inventorying “block 4,” which is the local Pittsburgh Faison K-5 school, and “block 5,” which is all of Finance Street, extending from the intersections of N Braddock Avenue to N Homewood Avenue. For “block 4,” it widely consists of Platanus x acerifolia (London planetree), Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud), Ulmus (Urban elm), and Betula nigra (River birch), where there are little issues/damage to these trees and seem very healthy. Since it is public property, I hope to gain access to its field to survey the trees there as well. The condition of “block 5,” was mixed and created confusion during tree identification. In terms of condition, a majority of the trees were dead and/or had trunk scars, basal and dormant bud sprouting (which is a sign of stress), and crown dieback (where the top of the tree is dead/has no growth). In addition, the sidewalk was limited or non-existing – serious erosion and maintenance issues. In terms of tree identification, we were able to identify Platanus occidentalus (American sycamore), but had difficulty in identifying which maple species were present along Finance street. A majority of the maple trees either showed leaf deformity, color discoloration, or lacked certain identification characteristics that would distinguish red, silver, and sugar maples from one another.

In total, I have surveyed 83 trees in South Homewood — 35 on “block 4” and 48 on “block 5.”

Other than surveying, my thesis chairperson, Dr. Linda Johnson (who is a faculty member at Chatham University) and I, did a quick drive to assess South Homewood and understand how both diverse and abundant the area is in trees and their species. Special shout out to her for helping me so far in inventorying – you would never guess the little ins and outs of identifying a species based on its leaf or branching.

Below are photos of my map of South Homewood and my inventory of Finance Street. The condition of certain trees was necessary to document.

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