Tree IDs in Amsterdam

Having lived my entire life in the Netherlands, I find that, as a general rule, the Dutch tend to over-organize many things, including Nature. I don’t see this as a good or bad quality. There is just a lot organizing of everything going on. For example, the municipality of Amsterdam has a bilingual database of every single tree the city maintains, currently at 214k trees.

Some relatively low managed areas have wild trees, like Amsterdamse bos (a planted forest) and Vliegenbos (also a planted forest). If that is the location of the observation wild can be considered. So I believe it is reasonable to at first assume that almost all the trees in the city of Amsterdam are cultivated. If the observer provides additional info in a note or comment that will be considered, of course. Additionally, the municipality database seems far more reliable for research purposes than iNaturalist data.

What would curators prefer? Just a comment and marking it as a not-wild and keeping it at Unknown? Or giving it the best ID one can come up with along with the comment and DQA not-wild as I did on this observation? Or something else?

(I read completely Should I tag city trees as captive? and The category of “cultivated” is problematic for plants in urban landscapes partly)


If a tree costs 1000 euro then 214k trees costs 214.000.000 euro. Maybe a small amount for you but I can imagine that Amsterdam wants to keep track of their posessions.

Any idea of the budget of the plantsoenendienst in Amsterdam per year?

If there are no rules you can make your own?

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It is hard to know what someone’s intention was with an observation like that. Did they want to ID the tree, or was there something about the bark that interested them and they wanted to know the cause? When people leave no explanation or comment on their observation, just a photo like that, the identifier has to guess. I think your ID and comment was reasonable, and better than leaving it at Unknown. If they come back and reply to your comment, or ID the observation, then you can adjust your ID if necessary.

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