Tacoma Community Science

Be a Tacoma Community Scientist

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    Project 1 - Urban Heat and Tree Health

    Tacoma Sooty Bark Disease Vulnerability

    Help study the impacts of urban heat on tree health​

    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 Maple Survey

    1. Sign up to visit a street

    2: Visit these blocks

    3: Add maple trees to iNaturalist

    Field Guide

    Previous Methods to get involved (Method 2 still active)

    Tacoma Street Tree Vulnerability Assessments

    Below are two 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

    There are no upcoming events at this time

    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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