The Lexington Tree Inventory is a collaborative effort of:
- The Lexington Tree Committee
- Urban Ecology Institute (UEI) of Boston College and Tufts University
- Lexington's Department of Public Work Divisions of Public Grounds and Engineering and
- Department of Information Technology
Volunteers and summer college interns from Clark University, Northeastern and Brandeis Universities, supported by grants, have counted approximately 6,000 street trees and completed 6 out of 9 Lexington precincts. This is approximately 65% of Lexington's streets.
Lexington's Major Street Tree Species
- Norway maple - This is the most populous and is an invasive species. The Norway maple was planted as a hardy street tree to replace the dying American elm, before its invasive properties were understood.
- Red oak - native species
- Red maple - native
- White pine - native
- Sugar maple - native
- 'Mixed groves' - These are found in minimally managed roadside areas and contain different species of trees.
- White ash - native
- Callery pear - This non-native species has invaded both Lincoln Park and Belfry Hill.
- Black cherry - native
- 'Other' - The large size of this category indicates the wide diversity of species in Lexington's tree population.
Data is collected using handheld computers. Interns documented their computer procedures. They developed a system to count trees in minimally managed areas by grouping them in 'groves' rather than locating each individual tree stem. This is a technique that made counting roadside areas efficient.
Lexington's tree population is primarily healthy.
Summary of State of Town Tree Health:
- Good: 79%
- Fair: 15%
- Poor: 6%
- Total: 100%