Speaking to a London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) seminar on Friday 31 January, Forestry Commission England urban forestry adviser Jim Smith explained that 66 teams, each made up of a tree expert and two assistants, would be required to record information on trees at around 700 plot points across the capital.
The information will then be fed into the iTree Eco application, which provides policymakers with hard data on the range of ecosystems services that urban trees provide.
"It's been done in other UK cities but they used paid consultants," he said. "Given the scale and the budget we have, this has to be voluntary."
Students on land-based courses looking to gain field data gathering experience would make good candidates to assist in the work, he added.
Giving his support, LTOA chair Jake Tibbetts said: "We will only have one chance to do this right."