The day began with an introductory presentation on the value of urban forests, the purpose of the research, an overview of methods, and health and safety. Volunteers heard from local experts involved with the San Francisco Urban Forest Map project.
Participants went outside for hands-on training in methods of observation, measurement, and data entry, using trees right outside the office as models.
After an hour and a half of introduction and training, the team broke into groups of three or four and walked to preassigned street segments. Volunteers collected data for the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon. In the field, they noted each tree’s location on a map of the city and used photos and drawings to identify tree species. They measured tree trunk diameters and made observations on the condition of the trees. They also noted the location of overhead wires and the impact of tree roots. Volunteers entered all information into a mobile app, which supported the process of statistical analysis and report generation.
Findings helped to answer major questions about the management of urban forests, such as: Which species are growing faster than others? Which species are dying faster (certain pests target particular species, so information on their prevalence can aid in forest management)? How is the forest growing or changing?