Municipal electric utilities must manage trees and vegetation along utility right-of-ways, constrained by many environmental, permitting, and public considerations for street trees and trees on private properties. TreeAM, which includes modules for both utility vegetation management and urban forestry, is uniquely positioned to help municipalities address these often conflicting objectives through better assessment, coordination, and integration of the different programs. Existing tree inventories, maintenance history, and utility assets layers can be easily imported into TreeAM.
A West Coast city with its own electric utility and a keen focus on sustainability and community outreach actively manages an inventory of about 70,000 trees in addition to routine line clearance and herbicide programs. Currently the only visibility the city has over its entire utility vegetation management and urban forestry programs is a contractor supplied software system that tracks inventory, maintenance history, and work orders in separate “silos” for utility and street trees. However, this system cannot help the city meet its broader objectives. Examples include the integrated management of its utility, street, and private trees, the use of urban tree growth models (incorporated in TreeAM) for planning, tree risk assessments, tree appraisals, and ecosystem services.
TreeAM is a natural fit for the city’s current and future needs. With tree inventory and maintenance history from the contractor-supplied system imported into TreeAM, the city gets complete visibility, control, and the tools for integrated management of utility and street trees with practically no custom software development and a short turn-around time. The contractors will continue to use the legacy system for updating inventory and work orders. A web service will keep the TreeAM data in sync with the legacy system on a daily basis.