Town of Bath discovers leafy assets worth $2,659,090

by Kate Lehman, Bath Tree Board

On June 22, Derek Furry of Bartlett Tree Experts delivered the 2023 Tree Inventory and Management Plan to the Town of Bath Tree Board.

Buried on page 44 of the 172-page document is the calculated value of the 543 trees on town property.  Trees on private property, which is part of the urban forest of the town, were not inventoried or evaluated. The value of each tree is based on a combination of factors including average per square inch of nursery price, size, species, condition and location.  A majestic old white oak takes the prize with a value of $41,193.

Knowing the value of a tree puts into perspective the cost of maintenance. Some of the most valuable trees are located in the town’s cemeteries. Because the trees are old, expensive work is recommended to prevent large limbs from falling and damaging old and irreplaceable grave markers.

Derek Furry accepts a check for work done to create the Tree Inventory and Management Plan presented to Kate Lehman, a member of the Tree Board

The Management Plan indicates that the Tree Board has done a good job trimming or cutting down trees at immediate risk of injury to persons or damage to property.

Due to a limited budget, however, less emphasis has been put on having structural work done to reduce the risk of branch or whole tree failure. No attention has been given to sampling and amending the soil in which our trees grow, or monitoring pests or diseases that could eventually kill a tree. The Tree Board is currently writing a grant for funds to address the most pressing issues presented in the Management Plan.

The Management Plan revealed that most town trees are some form of maple and noted other species of trees in town that are thriving and should be planted when possible in order to have more diversity among the trees lining our streets, rights-of-way and in the cemeteries.

Tom and Veta Hall attended the Tree Board meeting in order to learn more about the findings and recommendations of the Bartlett crew. At the conclusion of the report they asked if Bartlett provides a similar service to property owners interested in providing the best care for their trees.  Mr. Furry noted that such services are available.

“The best way to insure the health and well being of our urban forest,” he said, “is for town residents to enhance the value and health of the trees on their property.”