The Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation and the Facilities Department have completed a collaborative inventory and analysis of more than 10,000 landscape trees spread out across 900 acres of the Virginia Tech campus. The project — which estimates the total value of those trees at $30.6 million — provides crucial information as Virginia Tech moves forward with its 2018 Campus Master Plan.

Associate Professor Eric Wiseman has been integral in motivating the university to invest resources in the project. The result is a comprehensive database in which almost all campus trees have been identified, plotted, photographed, measured, and evaluated for condition and maintenance needs. The accompanying report also outlines which species tend to thrive on the increasingly urbanized campus and how future planning for tree planting can maximize species diversity and resilience.

As previously reported in CNRE News, graduate student Peter Stewart conducted the majority of the work, documenting approximately 8,500 trees, which were combined with a 2012 inventory of the old-growth forest near Lane Stadium. The university is moving forward with the hiring of a campus arborist to supervise this crucial resource.

The campus tree inventory will prove useful in the university’s decision-making processes concerning construction and landscaping, and is already being used in routing a new western perimeter road on the edge of campus.