Tree inventories are an essential tool to protect and enhance urban and rural forests which helps ensure healthy forests for generations to come. They are useful to help maintain diversity in the street tree population, assess the health of the urban forest, and communicate with property owners. Inventories need to be updated regularly in order to help schedule tree maintenance work, determine planting sites, and manage invasive insects. The inventory of city-owned trees began in March 2009 and once completed it will contain information on over 300,000 street and park trees, woodlots, ravines, and community forests.
Still, the biggest connecting thread for trees and the environment has to be the ability of trees to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When plants synthesize their own food in a process known as photosynthesis, they use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is estimated that a healthy, mature tree extracts up to 50 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air. With the increasing rate of deforestation, we are losing a valuable asset that could help in the fight against global warming. Without trees, carbon dioxide levels can continue to rise driving surface temperatures with it, eventually melting the icecaps to cause flooding, worsening weather conditions, prolonged droughts, the rapid depletion of valuable resources and a collapse in local economies.