Wisconsin Geospatial News

Participate in the Dane County Heritage Oaks Project

The Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC), in collaboration with the State Cartographer’s Office (SCO), the Dane County Tree Board, and the Dane County Tree Canopy Working Group, has begun work on an update to the Heritage Oaks Project in Dane County. Heritage oaks, which are estimated to be at least 200 years old, were originally inventoried in Dane County in 1976 to coincide with the nation’s bicentennial. In 2001 the Dane County Tree Board revisited the trees and added coordinates to the locations.

Mike Hasinoff (SCO) and Matt Noone (CARPC) measure a white oak on the UW-Madison campus. (Photo by Christina Dennis)

The aim of the new project is to determine how many of the original heritage oaks are still present, and to document them with a photograph and — when possible given that many of these trees are on private property — a trunk measurement.

Members of the public are invited to contribute to the inventory. A mapping application has been developed to allow community members to update information on existing heritage oaks or add a new tree to the inventory. The app allows photos and measurements to be added from a computer or smart phone.

Click here to access the app.

White or bur oaks need a trunk circumference — measured at 4.5 feet above ground level — of at least 10 feet, while pin, black, and red oaks needed a trunk circumference of at least 14 feet. These dimensions mean that the tree is most likely at least 200 years old, thus qualifying as a heritage oak.

Permission to measure and access a tree on private property is of course required.

For more information please see the CARPC press release here.