The University of Illinois at Chicago partnered with Bartlett Tree Experts in order to build and maintain our inventory of our great natural resource: trees!
Bartlett Inventory Solutions (BIS) combines Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to map and manage data on all trees within UIC property. This inventory provides valuable information on the number of diverse species, total canopy coverage, and the health and age of all trees. This information can be used in order to develop practical and beneficial management practices.
You can view special trees on each of UIC's tree tours, listed under the "Significant Tree". See below for instructions how to access a self-guided tree walk.
How to use the Tree Inventory Heading link
- Access the UIC tree inventory using the link above.
- Wait for the website to load. (Be patient, it takes a while to load up all of our trees!)
- Click on any tree in the map. Zoom in to see specific trees.
- Or search for a specific tree by entering the tree ID (located on a small blue tag nailed to the tree) and click “Filter Trees” (do not hit the enter button on your keyboard).
- You will be able to view the tree’s name, age, size, and overall health.
UIC's Tree Inventory: By the Numbers Heading link
In 2021, UIC inventoried 3,678 trees on campus property.
Understanding an urban forest’s structure, function and value can promote management decisions that will improve human health and environmental quality. An assessment of the vegetation structure, function, and value of the UIC urban forest was conducted in 2021 using the i-Tree Eco model developed by the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Compiled by Bartlett Tree Experts April 2021, the eco-analysis report discusses the environmental benefits of UIC trees and updates the statistics of UIC’s urban forest including number of trees and the amount of carbon dioxide is sequestered.
How to View Benefits of Individual Trees Heading link
How to take the self-guided tree tour Heading link
- On the right hand side of the UIC Tree Inventory on Arborscope.com, you will be able to access five different “view by” options.
- Select the drop down arrow for “View by significant tree”, and towards the bottom of the drop down menu, there will be four options that say Memorial, East Campus, West Campus, and Oaktober.
- Click on the tree walk that you want, then select the Filter Trees button outlined in green. Zoom in on the page to see the individual tree ID numbers (each tree will be represented by a green or yellow circle with a number) and click on the circles to see information about that specific tree.
Why does a professional tree inventory even matter? Heading link
While we have used student interns in the past for inventorying and analysis, it takes an expert with years of specific knowledge to properly care for an entire campus forest. Each tree is valuable and deserves a practiced hand. Tree Care Experts are able to assess the health of each individual specimen, noting when it needs to be pruned, mulched, or replaced.
Bartlett provides their arborists with intensive training, backed by the expert diagnostic support of facilities located at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories; this allows for proper monitoring of soil and health conditions, as well as accurate detection of disease and infestation risks.
Green spaces have proven to promote health and happiness in university settings, as it benefits student learning and general well being.
A large comprehensive inventory might seem time intensive and expensive, however, the management information it affords will provide our Grounds Department with specific, long-term solutions to tree care. The healthier the tree, the more benefits it can provide. These types of investments are essential in our campus wide ability to thrive and expand sustainably.
The information provided by expert reports will allow our students and staff to foster a deeper appreciation for our campus forest and the benefits trees provides; data can be used for service, community learning, and public outreach.
A full inventory is essential in allocating our Tree Campus expenditures effectively, as it allows our management to prioritize and strategize what is best for UIC. With an up to date inventory we will have a complete idea of what each tree needs to remain healthy and how to project efficiently for potential losses. With our close relationship with Bartlett, we have the proper resources to make smart choices with allocated funding based on facts and practice in an urban setting.
How a tree inventory will impact the UIC Climate Commitments
A catalog of each tree is beneficial in the evolution of the UIC Climate Commitments; expert care suggestions will allow us to optimize our biodiversity, as well as reduce our carbon footprint. Trees themselves play a vital role in each of the commitments, and are an invaluable asset to our community.
- Carbon neutral university: Trees sequester carbon and produce oxygen, which reduces the campus wide carbon footprint
- Zero waste university: Natural materials from trees that have fallen or have been removed for safety purposes can be reused in other projects.
- Net zero water university: The tree canopy and root systems capture and divert storm water, which prevents flooding and resulting damage to current infrastructure.
- Biodiverse university: A diverse tree canopy allows for increased resilience and longevity of the forest. Different species are susceptible to different infestations; having a wide range of species and maturity allows for maximum fitness. Having a unique array of species also supplies resources for a large variety of plant and animal life, while also benefitting daily activities of students and staff. Future plantings could be organized to supply local foods for campus consumption.
Tree Replacement Policy Heading link
Since becoming an officially designated Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2011, UIC recognizes that every tree on campus is valuable for offering environmental, health, social, and economic benefits at the individual, community, and social level. This policy mirrors proactive actions outlined in the UIC Tree Care Plan (2020).
Invest in a Full Tree Inventory
All departments and organizations within UIC that owns and manages grounds, including the Office of Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services (OVCAS), Office of Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (OVCHS), Office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), and Athletics must have a full tree inventory completed by a professional arborist that is approved by UIC VCAS (Grounds).
Invest in Proactive Health Care
All trees shall have a tree risk assessment performed by an International Society of Arboriculture Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) Certified Arborist and reports shall be submitted to the Superintendent of Grounds every 3 years (or less) to reduce likelihood of property damage, personal injury, or death. Trees that have been evaluated by a TRAQ Certified Arborist and are recommended for removal should be removed within the recommended timeframe provided by that professional.
Replace All Trees
According to the UIC Tree Care Plan, all trees that are removed during the planning process must be replaced on a caliper-for-caliper basis. (Refer to sections 18.104.22.168 Trees Removed During the Planning Process and 22.214.171.124 Caliper-for-Caliper Replacement). Due to limited, open green space and to avoid infringing on future building sites per the UIC Master Plan, all replaced tress must be planted within the boundaries of the project. Similarly, units on campus must replace any tree lost on their grounds due to death, over-maturation, vandalism, and/or disease that was previously indicated by the TRAQ Certified Arborist as outlined in the Tree Care Plan and the UIC Exterior Grounds Design Standards to the greatest extent possible.
For each tree removed, the cumulative Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) (AKA caliper) shall be replaced with new trees on the project boundary totaling the DBH of removed trees within one fiscal year of removal with approval of the Superintendent of Grounds, Campus Architect, and the Director of Sustainability. All new trees must be at minimum 3” DBH. Therefore, units shall financially invest in the health care recommendations from professional arborists to avoid unnecessary tree replacement.
All tree removals shall be reported to the Superintendent of Grounds and Planning, Sustainability and Project Management.
Projects that cannot replace total caliper lost in new trees within the project boundary must replace via compensation of the tree asset value. The compensation of the trees will be dedicated to the health and maintenance of existing trees on campus.
Design teams must update project demolition plans in accordance with the third-party professional arborist assessment of the tree assets values. During construction, there must be a tree protection zone that includes a “fencing that extends 1 foot from the trunk for each inch in trunk diameter” (refer to section 3.4.3 Preservation Zones.) If construction activities cannot clear the extent of that trees preservation zone, that tree is assumed to be damaged during construction and must be accounted for.
Project teams must account for all trees removed for construction and construction activities as well as trees that do not clear the tree preservation zone. Any tree in this new inventory that will not be impacted by construction, construction related activities, or impede on the tree preservation zone, may be excluded from the list of trees to be replaced and will not need to be accounted for.
Submit all proposal on site plans and in writing to the Superintendent of Grounds as well as Planning, Sustainability and Project Management.