Urban and Community Forestry

Through Urban Forestry 2020, Schools Aim to Advance Urban Forestry Profession

A multi-state team from universities in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland are working to advance the profession of urban forestry.
The team led by researchers at Virginia Tech has launched Urban Forestry 2020. The project aims to examine the challenges faced by the urban forestry profession and devise strategies for advancing the profession.
The project also includes representatives from Virginia State University, West Virginia University and the University of Maryland. It is partially funded by the U.S. Forest Service.

Sonic Tomograph Used to Determine Urban Forest Health in Missoula

To determine the future of the maple, the city of Missoula uses a device called a sonic tomograph. The Urban Forestry Division has catalogued an estimated 74 percent of municipal street and boulevard trees, and most of them are, to a trained eye, obviously healthy or obviously hazards in need of removal.

“The tree has a full canopy, but it clearly has a defect at the base,” said Christopher Gray, an arborist with the Urban Forestry Division of the Missoula Parks and Recreation Department. “Is this a high-risk tree? Low-risk tree?”

USDA Secretary Vilsack Announces the 2014 National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the 2014 USDA Forest Service's National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge grant recipients.

The grants provide funding that will help enhance urban forest stewardship, support new employment opportunities, and help build resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Urban Forests Improve Quality of Life

One large front-yard tree can increase the sale price of a house by 1 percent.

A well-placed mature tree can reduce annual air conditioning costs by 2 percent to 10 percent.

It is estimated that America's urban forests store between 600 million and 990 million tons of carbon.

Money growing on trees

Trees are often considered to be expensive-to-maintain assets with little value outside of hard-to-maintain aesthetics. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District thinks otherwise: in a city that reaches temperatures of 113 degrees, they’ve found that subsidizing the planting of more than 500,000 trees is an efficient way to cut energy costs. Shaded buildings use 25-40 percent less energy during the summer: and new data from the U.S.

Tree City, Ohio

For the 33rd consecutive year, Ohio leads the nation for Tree City USA designations with 244 communities achieving the title this year. The program, which is sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters, the Arbor Day Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S.

Chicago’s trees estimated compensatory value at $51.2 billion

Chicago is estimated to have about 157,142,000 trees, with a tree and shrub canopy that covers 2% of the region.  These trees remove about 677,000 tons of carbon per year and 18,080 tons of air pollution per year.  Including reduced costs in residential energy and a few other factors, these trees are estimated to have a compensatory value of $51.2 billion.

Nebraska native creates her own arboretum

Wanda Kelly’s yard is something special – the Nebraskan native has filled her yard in rural Thurston with hundreds of different trees.  Known as the “Tree Lady,” this home-made arboretum covers four acres, and she’s constantly adding

2014 TD Green Streets grant recipients announced

On March 7th, TD Bank and the Arbor Day Foundation announced the winners of TD Green Streets, a grant program supporting innovation in urban forestry.  Each $20,000 grant will fund projects in underserved communities, including the purchase of trees, tree planting, maintenance costs and educational activities.

Research suggests link between trees and lower crime rates

A new study in Baltimore City and Baltimore County have found that with a few exceptions, the frequency of crimes reported in a particular area goes down as the tree cover gets thicker.  Just a 10 percent increase in leaf canopy was associated with a 12 percent drop in crime.  The study supports arguments by advocates that environmental factors can fight crime, and challenges the notion that thick vegetation gives cover to would-be criminals.