1 Urban & Community Forestry 2015 Current Issue Pennsylvania Envirothon.

1 Urban & Community Forestry 2015 Current Issue Pennsylvania Envirothon

Transcript of 1 Urban & Community Forestry 2015 Current Issue Pennsylvania Envirothon.


Urban & Community Forestry

2015 Current Issue

Pennsylvania Envirothon



The value of trees in our community is often overlooked but trees make human habitats more livable.

Often we go about our days, and don’t stop to think about how trees soften the many harsh aspects of our built environment.


Key Topics:

What is sustainable urban/community forestry and why is it important?

What are the benefits of urban/community forests to society?

What are the costs associated with urban/community forestry?

What is an urban forest plan and why is it an essential tool?

Urban Forestry…

Refers to all publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area, including: Trees along streets Trees in backyards Urban parks Landscaped boulevards Public gardens Greenways Nature preserves



Urban/Community Forestry is…

the management of trees for their contribution to the physiological, sociological, and economic well being of the urban society.

the art, science, and technology of managing trees, forests, and natural systems in and around cities, suburbs, and towns for the health and well-being of all people.


Urban/Community Forestry…

Involves: selection, planting, maintenance of all trees and landscapes in an urbanized area.

Is a well planned, coordinated program Involves a partnership among federal and

state governmental agencies, private sector companies, organizations, and the public.


Benefits of Urban and Community Forests


Economic Benefits

Attracts businesses and tourists Higher occupancy rates Higher property values Lower crime rates Good investment for their return


Economic Benefits

Saves energy Cooling in hotter months

Can reduce air conditioning by 30% Wind barrier during winter

Can reduce heating by 20 to 50%


Environmental Benefits

Sustains long-term environmental Moderates the effects of harsh weather Improves air quality Reduces noise pollution Improves water quality Reduces runoff and erosion Filters stormwater and reduces flooding Reduces wind erosion of soil Provides habitat for birds and wildlife


Community Benefits

Safeguard pedestrians from traffic Provides screening and privacy Reduces noise pollution Reduces glare on sunny days

Aesthetic Benefits

Trees add beauty and peace Trees contribute positively to our quality of life Trees can serve as a source of community




Health Benefits

Creates feelings of relaxation and well-being Provides privacy and sense of solitude and

security Creates recreational areas for walkers,

runners, cyclists, and more Improves attention Improves physical and mental health Decreases asthma and obesity


Improvements in Air Quality

Absorbs and reduces airborne pollutants Stores millions of tons of carbon Lower air temperatures - “cooling effect” of

trees – in turn reduces carbon emissions from building energy use and other sources

Improvements in Water Quality

Reduces rate and volume of storm-water runoff Absorbs some of the nutrients in the soil

Helps prevent raw sewage spillover Trees, vegetation, and wetlands can help

prevent flooding of sewage treatment facilities. Limits soil erosion by helping control storm-

water flow.


Threats to Urban/Community Forests Insects and diseases, (i.e., gypsy moth,

emerald ash borer, fungi that cause Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight,)

Wildfire/fire Natural catastrophic events Invasive species Development Climate change


Why should my community do a tree inventory? To determine the need for a community

program To prioritize maintenance schedules To educate the public and residents and

promote the program To facilitate the planning To provide the basis for the development of a

comprehensive management plan


Why should my community have a management plan? Increased Public Safety Increased Efficiency Facilitate Short- And Long-Term Planning Justify Budgets Documentation


Management Plan Components

Tree Inventories Tree Inventory and Mapping Data

Management Software Tree Risk Reduction Plan/Emergency Storm

Response Tree Board or Advisory Council Development Public Relations and Education Urban Forest Cost/Benefit Analysis


What is a Tree Inventory?

Statistically reliable survey of publicly owned and managed trees, used to determine: Location and the exact or estimated

measurements of: Quantity and Quality Health and trends of the urban forest

Description of other urban forest attributes: Potential planting sites, Utilities present Hardscape features


Tree Inventories

Types Windshield Surveys Statistical Sample Inventories Partial Inventories Complete Inventories Using and Managing the Inventory Data Inventory Data Analysis

Population Characteristics Maintenance and Planting Programs Insect and Disease Threats and Control Budgets


Tree Risk Reduction Plan/ Emergency Storm Response Plan Risk Reduction plans include:

Clearing leaves and woody debris from gutters and storm drains

Sidewalk, street, and building clearance standards

Line-of-sight conflicts for street and safety signage

Blockage of street lamps and traffic lights Conflicts with overhead and underground


Tree Risk Reduction Plan/ Emergency Storm Response Plan Emergency Storm Response:

Collecting and disposing of debris produced by catastrophic disasters, such as tornadoes, ice storms, hurricanes, and severe winds

Managing increased: Threats to life from hanging limbs and uprooted

trees Hindrance to life-saving efforts by blocked streets

and driveways Power outages and power restoration efforts Personal and public property damage



Tree Board or Advisory Council Development Can provide a number of services, including:

Educate the citizens at large Interact with elected officials Assist with maintenance tasks (small tree

maintenance, mulching, planting, watering) Generate private financial donations and apply

for grants They serve in an advisory capacity only


Public Relations and Education

Have a computerized tree inventory and urban forest management plan accessible by the public – print hardcopy or on a website

Other actions may include: Public meetings and/or seminars Monthly tree-related articles for the newspaper Letters to residents announcing tree

maintenance or planting projects


Urban Forest Cost/Benefit Analysis

Trees growing in any community are valuable municipal resources.

They provide tangible and intangible benefits for diverse services such as: Pollution control, Energy reduction, Storm water management, Property values, Wildlife habitat, Education, Aesthetics.

Benefits once considered unquantifiable, now can be calculated using models contained in i-Tree software and current tree inventory information.

Urban Forest Cost/Benefit Analysis

Benefits to the public works manager: Obtaining economic evaluations for street trees to

assess management program Justification for funding and performing strategic

planning Gaining more public support Determining the annual amount of pollution

removed by the urban forest, the amount of carbon sequestered, the amount of energy consumption reductions, and estimated increases in property values and aesthetics


Models and Tools

i-Tree – Suite of software tools to help users identify and manage the structure, function, and value of urban tree populations.

Leafsnap Forest Service Web sites - U.S. Forest

Service, State forestry agencies, etc. Arbor Day Foundation Tree City U.S.A.


Thank you for your learning about Urban and Community Forestry!