Genesee Tree Inventory

The Genesee Foundation has focused on initial forest thinning over the past 30-40 years. As this initial successful forest management work nears conclusion, it is time to go back into the forest areas for a second or third treatment. In order to determine priority, future areas and methods of treatment need to be identified through a full tree inventory of all Open Space. Without a full inventory of our Open Space there, is no scientific way to determine areas that require treatment.

One reason we are completing this tree inventory is to get a baseline of information of our Open Space. This tree inventory will allow us to better understand the makeup and status of the trees here in Genesee. The data collected will provide vital information about the health of the forest and how it varies across our Open Space. Second, this information will help lay the framework for future inventories. Long-term monitoring will allow us to track changes in forest health. Established plots will allow us to return year after year and re-measure the forests with accuracy. It will also allow us to expand our data collection over time, to include monitoring of meadows, noxious weeds, forest fuels, and many other important elements of the ecosystem. Lastly, the data we accumulate will help inform future decision making.

Forest-wide tree inventories provide foresters a scientific basis to make decisions. By tracking the effectiveness of thinning’s and other management projects, we can learn and adapt to the responses of the ecosystem. The inventory will be accomplished this year with existing Foundation resources and the help of a few volunteer residents.

To complete this survey, the Genesee Open Space crew will systematically make their way through the different parcels of Open Space using modern methods of forestry inventory. This inventory is focused on documenting a baseline survey of overstory (tree) diversity and status.

At each plot the field crews will measure:

  • Canopy cover (what is overhead)
  • Seedling and saplings (how the forest is regenerating)
  • Overstory (what trees are present, how many, and their dimensions)

Accurate long-term monitoring requires returning to the exact location as in years past. To ensure this, each plot will have two monuments placed inside. These will be orange nails/washers and plot tags (please see photo on previous page). We ask that you please do not remove or move these tags; they are our only way to record accurate data over multiple years.

Our crew will be out inventorying the Open Space over the next couple of months, so feel free to stop and say hi or ask us any other questions you might have!

Robert Elliott | Open Space Manager |

Hope Athanasakos | Summer Intern

Genesee Foundation