Summer Update – Fieldwork

Hey everyone!

Just posting a quick update to say we are into the fieldwork season! The Durham folks are almost a month into fieldwork, and the Chicago folks just completed their week two. We have already looked at a ton of trees and have lots of interesting questions to dive into in the next few months.

I want to give a special shoutout to the technicians working with me in Durham and Chicago:

Durham Crew (Duke University/Nature Conservancy): 

Chloe Schueller, Lucie Ciccone, Maggio Laquidara

Chicago Crew (Morton Arboretum/Nature Conservancy): 

Andrea Nunes, Elizabeth Huang


I’ll post more updates towards the end of the field season, but look out for some fieldwork photos and hopefully some fun new data in the next few months!

Bonus – early fieldwork photos: 

church illuminated by the sunset in a street in Chicago, with brick buildings around and an intersection right in front of the viewer young people in vests looking at an apricot tree, two squatting down and one entering data in a tablet standing up pond visible behind dirt path and tree branches small white insects on Norway maple leaf by the veins

Fall Update

Kamil Orozco (front) and Evelinn Sanchez (back)

Hey everyone!

I figured I’d share a quick update about how things have progressed in the last few months. With support from the Garden Club of American and Casey Trees’s Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry, we had a successful field season over the summer. Working with two research technician fellows hired through the Morton Arboretum we looked at well over 400 trees in the west side of Chicago, primarily in Little Village, North Lawndale, and the Near West side.

The two technicians, Evelinn Sanchez and Kamil Orozco, each did a research project that they presented to Morton Arboretum researchers. Evelinn’s project looked at the impact of a botched smokestack implosion on the health of trees in Little Village. Kamil’s project looked at the health of trees in La Villita Park and how that was impacted by the trees’ proximity to heavily-trafficked areas.

While there, we piloted various field methods to see which ones we will use for the summer of 2022, where we will start a sampling scheme that is designed to cover a range of areas in both Chicago, IL, and Durham, NC.

Rivca Chaver (left) and Chloe Schueller (right)

In the fall, I have been working with two Duke University students (Chloe Schueller and Rivca Chaver) and Duke’s Superintendent of Tree Management, Roger Connor, to look at the impacts of long-term maintenance on tree health. Roger has 10+ years of data on tree health and maintenance so we are hoping to help put those datasets together and see how their maintenance efforts have helped support the trees on campus.

Of course, a lot of other things have happened too. We did some fieldwork in Durham using similar methods to Chicago, I am starting on a literature review project with collaborators at the Nature Conservancy, and there are some other potential projects on the horizon. I’m excited to be getting to dive into these projects in the next coming months!