Community Tree Study

Community Forester Rodney Walters measures a treeDuring the summer of 2021, ACCGov’s Community Forestry Program will take part in a Community Tree Study with UGA and the Georgia Forestry Commission. UGA student field teams lead by Dr. Jason Gordon will collect the tree information that will inform the Community Tree Study analyses. 

Athens-Clarke County has the highest documented tree canopy coverage of any city with a population of 100,000 or more. The Community Tree Study will facilitate a better understanding of the structure, function, and benefits of Athens-Clarke County’s trees.  This will allow the value of Athens' Community Forests to be more fully considered by the Athens' community. 

The study will consist of a statistical survey followed by a set of analyses that reveal many informative details about the Athens community forest on a countywide scale. This information will help facilitate a strategic approach to maintain or increase tree benefits.

Tree data will be collected on 228 random generated 1/10 acres plots around the county. Some of these plots will be on private property. Residents will be contacted for permission to collect tree information, such as tree species and size, as part of the study.  

The Georgia Forestry Commission is providing matching grant funding and support for the project with the goal of replicating similar future efforts around Georgia.