City of Goshen Public Tree Inventory

The City of Goshen conducted a public tree inventory of its street and park trees in 2008-2010. Data were collected providing information concerning species composition, size, health, and maintenance recommendations for each public tree.

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Here is an excerpt from the Executive Summary:

The economic health of Goshen, as with many communities, is closely related to the ability of its municipal government to supply its residents and visitors with efficient services, safe public spaces, and properly maintained infrastructure. Trees are an integral component of the City’s infrastructure and urban environment. When properly maintained, trees return overall benefits and value to the community far in excess of the time and money invested in them for planting, pruning, protection, and removal. They provide shade and act as windbreaks, helping to decrease residential energy consumption. They act as reservoirs, helping to reduce the amount of stormwater that reaches storm drains, rivers, and lakes. They help reduce noise levels, cleanse atmospheric pollutants, produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, stabilize the soil by controlling wind and water erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife. Trees also provide significant economic benefits, including increased real estate values and more attractive settings in which to locate commercial businesses. Their shade and beauty contribute to the community’s quality of life and soften the hard appearance of concrete and brick structures and streets. Unlike other components of the City’s infrastructure, the tree population, with proper care, will actually grow in value with each passing year. 

Managing natural resources, particularly trees in urban areas, is a highly challenging undertaking. Furthermore, providing adequate maintenance for public trees within a budget is a common concern among many communities. To efficiently maintain the City’s trees, Goshen’s Parks and Recreation Department, Forestry Division and Shade Tree Board have commissioned a study of its public tree population. The study includes an inventory of all street and park trees and an iTree Streets analysis used to evaluate current tree conditions and values and establish an effective, professional management program. A truly successful urban forestry program requires a combination of organized leadership, comprehensive information about the tree population, dedicated personnel, effective and efficient maintenance programs, and effective public relations. This Plan was developed to help the City of Goshen face the challenge of managing their public tree resource.