The campus of Abilene Christian University (ACU) is located in the sprawling urban city of Abilene, Texas. Located in the heart of “Big Country,” ACU’s campus sits in the midst of the Rolling Plaines, and is an oasis of green comprised of 2,136 trees. To better understand the role trees play on campus, a partnership between Abilene Christian University and Texas Trees Foundation was created to inventory and study the shade and ornamental tree species growing on the campus grounds. This study is an effort to:
1. Determine the actual size and scope of the urban forest on the campus of ACU
2. Catalogue each campus tree based on species, size and location
3. Determine the ecosystem service benefits and replacement value which the trees provide to the ACU community
After all trees were assessed and inventoried, the data was uploaded to i-Tree. i-Tree is a robust program developed by the USDA Forest Service and Davey Resource Group. I-Tree allows us to economically and ecologically monetize the benefits of trees for carbon sequestration, energy savings, stromwater mitigation and other factors that trees provide while creating healthier more resilient communities. From this program we are able to quantify and report the value these trees provide to the ACU campus and the urban forest of Abilene. Also, using the Landscape Appraisal Guide to Tree Value, we were able to determine the appraised value of the trees based off their current condition and placement in the landscape. This report describes, in detail, the work that was done to assess the current condition and value of the trees on the ACU campus. The report provides the results of the inventory and offers recommendations for the care and maintenance of the campus trees and landscape through the use of Green Infrastructure Best Management Practices. To view the full report see here.