The city of Portland is taking inventory of trees and green space in the city and surrounding area.
The project started Tuesday. It's part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to get a sense of how "green" the nation's urban areas are.
Jeff Tarling is Portland's city arborist. He says forest inventories have been going on in more rural areas for decades, but urban data is important as well.
"Urbanization is taking place in communities throughout Maine," Tarling says, "and as this land use changes to more urban areas or more developed areas, it's nice to know what's going on in these communities."
City staff and staff from the USDA Forest Service will be collecting data every year, for the next five years. They'll look at tree species, numbers and size, health, and damage to trees.
They'll start with public areas like Baxter Woods and the Eastern Prom, and eventually move to private land - with owners' permission.