Tree Mitigation Program
What Is The Tree Mitigation Program
Chemung County has been awarded a Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant to create a Tree Mitigation Program. This mitigation program can be used by Chemung County and every municipality within the county to help make us more resilient to the impacts of severe weather events.
The goal of this program is to train municipal staff how to inventory and assess their publicly owned trees to determine if any trees are at a high risk for failure during future severe weather events. Employees can then make a plan to address any issues, including removal of dangerous trees, during blue skies under optimal working conditions. This will help prevent these high risk trees from becoming future storm debris that can block roads and waterflow, take down utility lines, and damage structures and property.
The program will also include public education and outreach resources, so that residents can learn how to assess their own trees to protect their homes and properties. We will also share some best practices for your existing trees or future plantings to ensure they remain a healthy, safe part of your personal environment.
Game of Logging
A significant amount of the BRIC Grant funding is being used to provide the Game of Logging training, a hands-on chainsaw safety training that requires every class participant to fell a tree. Training participants are municipal employees who are required to use a chainsaw in the course of their work. This part of the Mitigation Program ensures that our municipal staff have the knowledge and skills to properly and safely use a chainsaw, reducing the risk of injury or death to the employees or anyone in the vicinity of their worksites.
In cooperation with planning partners, training will be provided to municipal staff giving them the knowledge and skills to create a tree inventory of publicly owned trees. This will allow municipalities to keep track of the variety, size and locations of trees on their municipal owned properties, such as in parks and municipal owned cemeteries. This inventory will give them the base information needed to then implement their Tree Mitigation Program.
In cooperation with planning partners, training will be provided to municipal staff giving them the knowledge and skills to assess the health and stability of their publicly owned trees. The training will discuss the signs and symptoms a tree can display that could indicate it is at a higher risk for failure. This could include fungi growth on a live tree, cracks or voids in the tree, or poor canopy health. Mitigation measures can vary depending on the type and severity of the problem, but if removal of the tree is necessary, this Tree Mitigation Program will help municipal staff plan removal work before severe weather strikes and the risk for tree failure and damage increases.
Public Outreach and Education
Chemung County will create videos, television advertisements, brochures and social media content that will keep the public informed on the progress of the municipal Tree Mitigation Program creation. Information shared will also help residents to know what to look for with their own trees to recognize a tree that has a high potential for failure, and provided resources to get more information or assistance.