Joplin Creates Tree Inventory with Plan-It Geo - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Creates Tree Inventory with Plan-It Geo

Joplin, MO -

    The city of Joplin is assessing what it has and what it needs when it comes to trees by creating an inventory using Geo tracking.

Governor Jay Nixon praised Joplin's recovery in his state of the state address including the replanting of trees.  The 2011 tornado that downed homes also took seventeen thousand trees.

 Parr Hill park has many news trees planted after the tornado.  Their GPS locations were recorded when they were planted. But the rest of the city's trees are just becoming part of a tree inventory with the help of Plan-It Geo, LLC.

T.J. Wood is the lead inventory technician with Plan-It Geo.  He data collection begins with, “The actual location of the tree so physically located GPS wise on a web map and it’s through our online application called tree plotter through plan-it Geo."

Then wood collects important information about trees like these persimmons.  Measuring their DBH or .diameter at breast height."  And he’s giving them hazard ratings. Wood says, "It allows the city forest service to go out and prioritize work schedules. They can take all this data that we're collecting in the field throughout this project and say I want to go out and visit our trees in the poorest condition or the largest risk rating on our streets for example.  And go and prioritize their work and get it done."?

Conservation experts say it’s not just the younger trees that need to be tended to, older ones need maintenance as well.   The loss of many of those in the tornado makes a big difference to Joplin and not just because they're aesthetically pleasing.

Jon Skinner with the Missouri Department of Conservation says, “Other things lost in the tornado is storm water control.  Trees can intercept a lot of water as it comes down from the sky meaning less running down our gutters into our storm water system."

On the tree plotter app Wood says, "Each dot represents a tree, a planting site, or a stump."

And the city's arborist says he can add trees or update tree conditions on the site himself.  But he says the site will also help with future planning. Arborist Mike McDaniel says, "Older trees kind of fit one piece of the puzzle. They should be replaced by younger ones. They don't necessarily need to be taken down or anything but maybe there time is limited. So we can see they're time is coming and plan and that will help a lot.


The inventory collection is funded through a twenty-five thousand dollar Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

     It will gather data on six thousand trees in six weeks.

     The city is expected to seek more grants to collect data on trees not covered in phase one.

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