Tacoma Community Science

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    Project 1 - Urban Heat and Tree Health

    Tacoma Sooty Bark Disease Vulnerability

    Air temperature data collected at 3pm in July 2018 and shared by the City of Tacoma. Learn more in the Tacoma Community Forestry Story Map.

    Are the impacts of Sooty Bark Disease worse in hotter areas of Tacoma?

    Together we can research and learn about the impacts on our communities.

    Sooty Bark Disease

    Sooty Bark Disease weakens and kills trees. The tree disease has been found in many areas of the Pacific Northwest.

    Sooty Bark Disease is caused by the fungus Cryptostroma corticale. This fungal species grows inside the tree and releases spores after causing the outer bark to flake off.

    Your help is needed to determine what trees are susceptible to this disease. So far, research has found the fungus on the following species:

    • Horse Chestnut
    • Bigleaf Maple
    • Sycamore Maple
    • Norway Maple
    • Pacific Dogwood
    All of these species are commonly planted throughout Tacoma.

    The disease is likely emerging as an issue now because of recent longer and hotter droughts.

    Cryptostroma corticale spores - M. Elliott, WSU

    “The impacts of this disease on our forests and communities are likely to get worse as summer droughts become longer and hotter in the Pacific Northwest” 

    "Unfortunately, some neighborhoods may be more impacted than others"
    Joey Hulbert
    Program Director

    Get Involved

    Tacoma Street Tree Vulnerability Assessments

    Below are three methods to get involved. You can contribute to improve our understanding of the disparities of urban forest benefits and the vulnerability of our communities.

    "Together we can collect data to help decision makers cultivate a healthy, equitable urban forest in Tacoma"
    Joey Hulbert
    Program Director

    Relevant Upcoming Events

    Tacoma Tree Health Community Science In Person Meet-up

    Join us on Sunday at 10am on October 2, 2022 for a short walk to learn and practice methods for contributing to the research this fall. Meet in the parking …

    Find out more »

    Sooty Bark Disease Information Session – November

    Have questions about Sooty Bark Disease? Join us for a presentation and discussion about Sooty Bark Disease in the Pacific Northwest.  The event will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams …

    Find out more »
    Online – Microsoft Teams Meeting,

    Project 2: what do you want to research next?

      I am not sureNoNot yetYes

      No thanksYes pleaseUp to youMaybe

      What data or knowledge would be useful for you?

      Use this space to suggest a future research project related to the urban environment. What skills, knowledge, or data would help you advocate for a better Tacoma?

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