Work Team,
Cornell Univ.
Cornell University

Community Forestry
Home Page

Community Forestry Planning

  • Developing a Master Plan
  • Acknowledgments (work team members)

  • Conducting a Street Tree Inventory

  • Street Tree Project History
  • Hiring the SWAT Team
  • Using the Inventory
  •    - Inventory Methodology
       - Using Excel 2003
       - Using Excel 2007
       - Using STRATUM
  • Updating the Inventory

  • Resources

    Site contact:
    Dr. Nina L. Bassuk
    Horticulture Section
    134A Plant Science Bldg
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY 14853
    Phone: (607) 255-4586
    Fax:(607) 255-9998

    Community Forestry
    Conducting a Street Tree Inventory

    swat teams Student Weekend Arborist Team (SWAT)

    See also SWAT team brochure. (legal-size .pdf flyer)

    In 1 or 2 weekend days, trained groups of individuals consisting of Cornell University students and Master Gardeners from Cooperative Extension perform an inventory of your community trees for a fee plus expenses:

    • Time Frame: 1 or 2 weekend days
    • Cost: less than $3500
    • Benefits: useful for communities with less than 2000 street and park trees

    What do we offer?

    We work with you to establish a management planning process difficult for smaller communities with limited urban forestry budgets. This includes:

    • A complete inventory of all community trees in the public right-of-way within your municipal boundaries
    • The species distribution, condition, and maintenance needs of these trees
    • The location of existing planting spaces available for future plantings
    • A list of tree species suitable for future plantings specific to you community
    • A quantitative analysis of the ecosystem benefits provided by community trees
    • An electronic spreadsheet of inventory data so you can keep it up to date
    • A summarized report and presentation of the data
    • A resource for future questions

    What we need from you to participate in this program

    • Someone to be a designated contact person during the process
    • A municipal staff person assigned to keep and update the electronic database which will be provided
    • Signoff from a public official supporting the project
    • Spreadsheet software (Excel or Access)
    • Right-of-way information for all streets to be included in the inventory

    Cost breakdown

    • Student labor: $100 per student per day
    • Travel expenses:
      • lunch for team
      • transportation (@$100/day)
    • One day inventory approx. $1200-1750
    • Two day inventory approx. $2400-3500


    If interested in a SWAT Team street tree inventory, fill out the Tree Inventory Project Application (.pdf)

    Helpful information for applying

    • Public official/person to act as liaison between municipality and the SWAT Team
    • Municipal employee/staff person designated to maintain database
    • Estimated number of trees:
      1. Count the number of blocks or miles of streets within municipal boundaries
      2. Calculate 10% of total
      3. Drive (randomly) along calculated number of blocks or miles counting trees
      4. Multiply count by 10
    • Current community forestry efforts:
      • Community tree board
      • Street tree inventory
      • 'Tree City' designation
      • Street tree ordinance
      • Community tree management plan

    Note: The SWAT Team does not do hazard ratings for trees; it flags trees for further inspection by a certified arborist.

    To find out how the inventory can be used, go to Utilizing the street tree inventory.

    Copyright, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University.