The San Diego County Tree Map builds on data from the City of San Diego’s Trees_SD database. Information on the species and tree size is used to estimate the ecosystem services the urban forest provides, including how much energy the trees are helping conserve, how many pounds of air pollutants and greenhouse gases they are absorbing from the atmosphere, and how many gallons of stormwater they’re helping to filter. San Diegans can explore the trees around them, searching by species, location, tree size, and a number of characteristics, such as whether the trees bear edible fruit or nuts, have distinct fall color or especially beautiful flowers, or are native to California.
By presenting the environmental benefits the urban forest is providing, the Tree Map also offers information for policy makers tasked with making difficult decisions in an era of scarce financial resources. In this way, concerns about the costs of tree care and planting can be weighed against the valuable and tangible contributions they are providing to San Diegans.
Tree Map users can also help expand on the City’s data. Collecting inventory information on urban trees is prohibitively expensive, although it is of great value for management and planning. We’re harnessing the power of crowd-sourcing and citizen science to add trees to the map and help keep the City’s data current. We believe the residents of San Diego are valuable partners for growing a better urban forest.