Located in Springfield, Virginia, Danbury Forest Homeowners Association is a 42 year old community located on 115 wooded acres. “Our trees are our greatest asset,” asserts Cheryl McDonald, member of the board and the maintenance committee that hired SavATree’s Consulting Group, “and also our greatest liability. They are the reason why we live here, but they can also be very dangerous.”
Protecting homes and property was the number one reason the HOA decided to invest in a Tree Inventory and Management Plan. They recognized their aging landscape was filled with undesirable and failing trees that created unexpected problems, particularly after storms. “Instead of constantly reacting, our goal was to be proactive with tree health,” Cheryl explained. “We wanted to be able to look at the whole picture so that we could quantify our future needs and be able to budget for them.”
Not only did the Danbury Forest Homeowners Association meet their objective to maximize safety and minimize risk, but having a consulting arborist catalogue their trees yielded a variety of additional benefits. At last the HOA had a framework they could use to plan and budget for tree care in a thoughtful, cost effective manner. The report recommendations are being used to extend the life of their most desirable trees. They also serve as a reference when replanting, to add diversity so that the landscape is protected from devastation due to a single pest or disease. Ultimately, the plan will help the HOA keep the community in the best possible shape for future owners.
The tree inventory and management report first established tree management objectives and priority responses.
Professional arborists then performed a visual inspection of all individual trees nine inches in diameter or greater, capable of striking persons or property upon failure.
Using GIS and GPS technology, each inventoried tree appears on a web-based map. The app is a handy and helpful reference tool used by the HOA for decision support when a resident expresses concern about a tree or any time a tree issue arises.
A convenient web application displays the tree’s location, species, diameter, objective, priority, and recommendations for treatment.
Tree pruning and removals were the strategies chosen by Danbury Forest HOA to accomplish their objective of safety of persons and property. The annual inspection and plan update revealed the following:
A large number of trees (84) are in critical need of pruning to meet the objective of safety of persons and property.
At present, 33 trees are recommended for removal; seven of them fall into the high or critical category.
To find out how a Tree Inventory and Management Plan can benefit your property or campus, contact The Consulting Group at (914) 403-8959 or www.savatree.com/consulting.
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