Don’t be surprised if a guy with a weird-looking device sticking out of his backpack starts peering at the trees in an Evanton parkway near your home sometime soon.

Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to approve a contract with Ohio-based Davey Resource Group to inventory the city’s estimated 32,000 trees in parkways and public parks.

In addition to getting a reasonably precise fix on the location of each tree from global positioning system satellites, the project is designed to identify tree species and assess the condition of each tree to establish priorities for removal and trimming work.

The contract calls for feeding all that data into the city’s project scheduling software system. The project is expected to take about three months to complete.

Update 2/26/14 10:52 a.m.: The City Council approved the contract Monday night. The city’s forestry chief, Paul D’Agostino says its been nine years since the city did its last tree inventory.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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