Palo Alto Young Tree Care Survey

Survey trees!Every summer Canopy volunteers and partners explore Palo Alto’s neighborhoods to survey the health of hundreds of young street trees.

Young trees require extra care, especially regular watering, to ensure their survival in the urban environment.

Check Canopy’s online event calendar June through August for volunteer opportunities or email Community Forestry Coordinator Evany Wang at [email protected] for more information.

During the annual Young Tree Care Survey:

  • Canopy compiles a list of all the street trees (and many park trees) planted in Palo Alto over the last 5 years. We send “Is Your Tree Thirsty?” postcards to residents that live next to these trees, to ask for help keeping the trees watered while they are young.
  • Volunteers are trained to survey young trees, and given “routes” that each take about 2 hours to complete. We assess if a tree is getting enough water, if it needs mulch or weeding at the base, note any damage to trunk and branches, and recommend pruning needs and stake fixes to the City.
  • We educate the community about the importance of trees, remind them to properly water trees during the hot dry summer months, and offer tree care advice.
  • At the end of the survey we assess our data on the health, growth, and vitality of young street trees. This data is compiled in a report used by the City of Palo Alto to inform and streamline its tree care and maintenance efforts. Past reports are at the bottom of this page.

Canopy Tree Plotter

Tree Plotter is our online tree map that volunteers will use to record tree information for the Young Tree Care Survey. With mobile phones and tablets in the field, surveyors type the map’s URL into their web browser, sign in, and are instantly ready to find trees to survey.

Entering information directly into the map saves time for volunteers, and enables Canopy staff to quickly send vital tree care information to the City of Palo Alto. Users can even add photos of trees and record if “first care” was performed, all in a user-friendly format.

You can find more information about the Canopy Tree Plotter here.

Video: How to complete a Young Tree Care Survey

New video coming soon! 

Note that instructions have changed slightly with our new Canopy Tree Plotter online map. In the meantime, you can continue to view the video below as many of the survey categories, tree care methods, and general tips have remained the same.

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“I was so pleased to see that all but one of the trees I visited on the Tree Care Survey this year are thriving!”

~ Dedra Hauser,
Canopy Volunteer

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