What type of trees are on your street? There's a map for that

Have you ever wanted to know a little bit more about the trees that line your street?

The city of Ottawa has a database and interactive map of more than 250,000 trees, which tells you the species and size of each. The database is accessible to anyone, simply by going online.

Trees are a welcome relief on a steamy hot summer day.

"They clean the air that we breathe, they give us the canopy, the shade when it’s really sunny and hot," says Genevieve Raymond, Section Manager, Forest Planning & Outreach Unit with the City of Ottawa.  "The information that we’re collecting is really a vital tool for us to be able to maintain our green assets, and offer a healthy forest canopy to our residents.”

It’s also a tool which anyone can access.

"If they are interested to know what diversity of trees they have in their neighbourhood," said Raymond.

Raymond says the database has trees which are located along city streets, both urban and rural; and, the next phase of adding to the database is city parks.

As the database continues to grow, community groups are getting involved in contributing too.

"We have a much better sense of what’s here," says Sherry Nigro, a volunteer with Friends of Petrie Island.

"What it offers the visitors is just a better understanding, and maybe a sense of connection."

She says they have already added to the database, and are working on doing an inventory of trees from a more remote part of the island too; and, information gathered also helps with planning, including working to prevent shoreline erosion.

Raymond says the database started as a need to identify trees at risk, when Emerald Ash Borer, a non-native, highly destructive beetle was first found in Ottawa in 2008.

"It was a bit of a challenge to have an idea where our Ash trees were located, and where we should focus our efforts."

There are two platforms where the city tree inventory is available for public view, and Raymond has tips on how to access each:

Open Data

  • Use the search function and type "Tree inventory"
  • It will bring you the data set.  You can do some mapping there and you can also download the data and manipulate it
  • The attribute table will give the public more information on the tree (planting program if newly planted tree, if part of an injection program, etc.) which is not available on GeoOttawa.

GeoOttawa

  • Under the layer list, you need to select the forestry (check mark) and under that there is Tree Inventory (check mark).  That will bring the information up.