Effort Underway to Count All Trees in Des Moines

Using backlighting to bring out the colors and textures of leaves on a maple tree is an effective technique in photographing fall colors. Photographed Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, in Walford, Iowa. The use of selective focus, using a wide aperture and framing through foreground leaves, makes your subject standout from the background. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Ben Hoppenworth


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An effort is underway to count all the trees in Des Moines, a costly move but one supporters say is necessary as city leaders deal with issues like invasive species.

Tree Des Moines wants to raise $400,000 to help get the tedious job done. The nonprofit group is aiming to start the inventory next spring.

CJ Stephens, founder and president of Tree Des Moines, says the group wanted to help offset dwindling city budgets that have made it difficult for officials to handle tree management. The state Department of Natural Resources supports the private effort, since the agency can't fund such a task.

Forestry officials say a tree inventory has numerous benefits, including helping officials decide whether a tree planting program is needed because of dead and diseased trees.

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