Cranford Township Cares for its Trees (Union County)
Cranford Township lost nearly 800 trees after Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. The township realized that a better understanding of the benefits and services provided by their public trees would increase investment in stewardship, operations and maintenance. After receiving a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation, Cranford completed a tree inventory. The Township contracted with The Land Conservancy of New Jersey to conduct the inventory on public trees and included information such as each tree’s common and botanical name, diameter, height, condition and location. The completion of the computerized inventory of municipal trees serves as a model for residential and suburban communities for management of their forest canopy. The GPS data coordinates assigned to the individual tree aid in finding locations for future tree plantings, as well as identifying the diseased, dead and damaged trees that should be removed and replaced to protect public well-being as well as the health of the municipal forest. The knowledge gained from this project allows the Township to assess the economic value of the trees on municipal property in Cranford and will enable replacement of the trees lost in the storms.