Tree Study 2023
The City of Charlestown and the University of Louisville collaborated on a Tree Study Project in the summer of 2023. The objective was to gather an inventory and assessment of trees on city-owned properties (mostly parks), the Charlestown Housing Authority, and at Greater Clark County Schools.
The eight-week project used tools to measure tree diameter, circumference, health, structure, estimated height/canopy coverage, and identify species, along with entering the locations of each tree in a GIS program.
The results in the field were compiled by students Ellie Nelson (University of Louisville), Morgan Bentley (UofL), and Caleb Martin (Purdue University).
In total, 730 trees were inventoried with 88.2 percent of the species being native to Indiana. The most common species is the Northern White Cedar (108 trees, 14.1 percent). The percentage of invasive species was 6.4 percent while non-native, non-invasive was 5.5 percent.
The estimated cumulative CO2 sequestration capability for all trees collected: 3,861,232 pounds.
The GIS data map is available for citizens to view. As the city grows and increases its tree canopy, incorporating native species into parks and properties will be important to native growth.
Moving forward, the tree study provides information on improving quality of life, walkability, environmental health, future municipal planting and maintenance decisions, benchmarking goals toward a Tree City USA certification.
Research funded by the National Science Foundation IUSE grant #2152282 (PI: Dr. Faisal Aqlan). Any opinions, findings, or conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.