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New App used by SDOT Urban Forestry Improves Data Collection on Street Trees

SDOT Urban Forestry needs to keep track of the 40,000 street trees which SDOT maintains, including info on their location, size, species, and more.  We also need to track the 100,000+ privately maintained street trees which are an important component of our city’s urban forest.

SDOT IT recently created an app for SDOT Urban Forestry staffers to quickly update our tree database in the field.

iPhone Tree App

Staff can now add a tree, delete a tree or update tree characteristics in the field using an Apple or Android device.  Before the app, staff would conduct field checks, fill out a paper form, then return to office to input the data into the City’s complex asset database system. (Hansen).

The app will improve the quality of our data and allow us to input data in a much more timely manner. With better tree data, we can better project maintenance requirements, more efficiently create maps and schedules for watering trees, and be able to plan for better species diversity in the future.



  • The app uses the GPS on Apple or Android devices to easily locate a tree.
  • In addition to the apps, there is also a user-friendly website.
  • App includes drop down menus for 350 tree species and 250 other plants
  • SDOT manages about 120,000 trees.
  • The app is intuitive for first time users, and the business process includes a QA/QC process to ensure data integrity.
  • SDOT is partnering with Seattle ReLeaf Tree Ambassador program to train select community members to update the inventory

TreeCollection screen shot

Here’s our contact for SDOT Urban Forestry:  206-684-TREE (8733)