Victoria residents can track the health, species and history of every tree on their boulevard – along with 33,000 other trees.
City of Victoria-owned trees are logged on a little-known online database where people can zoom in on different Victoria neighbourhoods to examine what’s growing.
For the city, it’s a means of keeping track of their tree inventory, knowing which trees are new and need more care, and which are old and may pose a future risk. It also allows city staff to talk about a specific tree or trees in real time if someone calls in with a complaint or question.
“That tree will eventually have a history with us,” said Brooke Stark, city manager of urban forest services.
For residents, the database can be an intriguing tool to examine what types of trees are growing around them. When clicked on, each tree pinpoint reveals a swath of information, including its address, blossom start and end date, measurements, health, age and species, among many other characteristics.
The database only includes public trees and doesn’t provide information on the approximately 120,000 other private trees in Victoria. It does, however, provide a guide on where to find some of the city’s most sought-after cherry trees. Of the 33,000 trees, more than 5,000 are a variety of flowering cherry or plum.
All kinds of other data sets available on the city’s open data portal may also interest residents – such as benches, dog bag dispensers, public art and garbage collection routes. All this information can be found at opendata.victoria.ca.
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