Tree Inventory and Management Plan

Lake Worth is a coastal city of 37,000 residents and seven square miles, located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Atlantic Ocean and the broad waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon form the City’s east boundary and the beautiful fresh waters of Lake Osborne its west.

Lake Worth’s tree canopy has been integral to the City’s identity since incorporation in 1919. In 2013, the City’s Public Services Department initiated a City-wide tree inventory, canopy coverage assessment and management plan project to provide a baseline status of the City’s canopy and to plan for the future.

In 2014, E Sciences was awarded the tree inventory and management plan contract. We provided the following services:

  • ISA certified arborists conducted a city-wide tree inventory using a Trimble GPS data collector with a laser range finder improving accuracy, speed and efficiency.
  • Observations were made during the tree inventory about the environmental context of the City’s trees including soils, encroachment by invasive species, and general trends in tree and plant health.
  • A canopy assessment was conducted of the City’s urban forest canopy for three different time periods. The assessments provided canopy coverage percentages for each period with a standard error of less than 2 percent. Using this information, E Sciences was able to estimate the percent canopy lost during the hurricanes of 2004/2005 and the rejuvenation that has occurred since.
  • The City’s code was analyzed to determine regulations on tree protection and landscape planting requirements.

After all the data was collected, analyzed and discussed, E Sciences prepared a management plan that provided recommendations to manage public and private trees, an analysis of risks to the urban forest associated with plant pests, development, sea level rise and other climate change issues, and recommendations for adaptive management.