Our top pick among the many resources for learning about the benefits of trees. Research is primarily in the areas of energy savings, pollution reduction, air and water quality improvements, aesthetics and human health.
Provides scientific information about the relationship between trees, people and environment. The station’s 11 locations in Alaska, Oregon and Washington include the Portland office where the work of Geoffrey Donovan centers on the economic and public health impacts of urban forests. His studies have estimated the impact of trees on housing prices, rental prices, crime, energy use, and birth outcomes.
USFS scientists discover a link between the spread of emerald ash borer and increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower respiratory tract illness.
Based in Newtown Square, PA, the Northern Research Station (NRS) serves the Northeastern U.S. by developing scientific management tools and information that can improve the quality of life for urban dwellers through natural resources stewardship.
The USFS Northern Research Station coordinates the research of four Urban Field Stations that are dedicated to sustaining the health and diversity of natural systems and enhancing community quality of life within the urban landscape: Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia.
Dr. David Nowak leads the Northern Research Station’s urban forest research unit based at State University of New York – Syracuse. They research the functions and benefits of urban trees and are an integral part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) Program’s Baltimore Ecosystem Study.
Regional urban and community forestry center focuses on technology and information that supports urban forest management, tree health, tree biology, and the measurement of ecosystem benefits derived from trees in urban settings.
Numerous research and assessment projects are underway in this Pacific Northwest-based study that seeks to understand the function and structure of regional forest canopies. Estimates of monetary values for ecosystem services provided by urban trees are among the many reports that can be downloaded here.
Dr. Kathy Wolf of the University of Washington delves into the relationships between humans and our urban forests. Nature and Consumer Environments, Trees and Transportation, Civic Ecology, and Policy & Planning are major topics of study.
Urban forests and their role in buffering climate change are among topics on this USFS site. A climate change primer, an urban forest project protocol, a tree carbon storage calculator, ecosystem services and energy saving provided by trees; plus a mind-boggling array of useful information, inventory and monitoring methods are found here.
Based at Cornell University, the Institute’s mission is to improve quality of life by enhancing the functions of plants within urban ecosystems. UHI program director Dr. Nina Bassuk is an internationally recognized urban tree expert whose extensive research and development in the areas of structural soils, permeable pavements, stormwater management, bare root planting methods, etc., provide invaluable tools for urban forest managers.
When structural root systems of landscape trees are too deep, reduced vigor, decline, and even death can result. Less growth and a shorter life span can reduce the benefits provided by the urban forest. Excellent resources list and Spanish language version.
Just about everything you need to know about growing trees in the nursery and managing them in the landscape is found on this University of Florida site: Urban design, site evaluation, tree selection, planting, pruning, roots, structure. Fact sheets, Powerpoint presentations, research abstracts and other resources.
The Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) is joint effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. Vegetation guidelines encourage the use of trees to lower energy consumption, improve air quality, etc.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) counts urban trees among the best Green Infrastructure and stormwater management tools. This is a great starting point for quantifying the economic and environmental value of trees.
Presented by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, national and regional stormwater management calculators help determine the value of trees and other green infrastructure.
Portland, Oregon is a leader in the practice of managing urban forests as a tool for stormwater management. Trees are an important component for managing the city’s stormwater onsite while protecting water quality and improving watershed health.
Free downloadable handbook describes basic stormwater management strategies and illustrates street designs with features such as street trees, landscaped swales and special paving materials that allow infiltration and limit runoff.
A joint report of American Rivers and American Society of Landscape Architects and other partners looks at “How Green Infrastructure Saves Municipalities Money and provides Economic Benefits Community-wide.” The report details most cost-effective options for managing polluted runoff and protecting clean water, and finds that green infrastructure solutions save taxpayer money and provide community benefits by managing stormwater where it falls.
The case for planting large-stature trees vs. small-stature trees is made in this eight-page article that explores the economic, environmental and social benefits of planting large shade trees in our city forests. (Direct PDF Download)
Universities across the national collaborate on a 10-year evaluation trial of DED-resistant hybrid and American Elms currently in the marketplace. Our elm pages link to the Colorado State University study for which we donated more than 1,000 elm trees. You’ll also find a roundup and descriptions of all of the commercially important modern, disease-resistant elm cultivars, a downloadable version of our elm parentage chart, and links to additional elm information.
Mayors in 1,054 cities (as of 2/13/13) have joined this city-level environmental movement founded by former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. The movement includes a pledge to take actions “ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns,” to reduce carbon emissions in their cities to below 1990 levels, in line with the Kyoto Protocol. Check the list to see if YOUR mayor has signed on in support of urban trees.
Become a real tree expert by earning Arborist Certification credentials from the International Society of Arboriculture. Six credentials may be earned: ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Tree Worker, Municipal Specialist, Aerial Lift Specialist, Climber Specialist, Utility Specialist and Board Certified Master Arborist.
Free online seminars provide continuing education for municipal arborists and are a treasure-trove of information for anyone interested in the care and management of urban forest trees. ISA-certified Arborists and members of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) may take a test after reading each of the informative articles, and can qualify for continuing education credits.
E-learn and earn three hours of upper division college credit in this introduction to principles and practices of urban forestry offered by Oregon State University. The State of Oregon’s Urban Forestry Program Manager, Paul D. Ries, teaches the course. FOR 350 can be applied toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources. Typically offered Fall and Winter Term.
The Chicago Botanic Garden has an unparalleled certificate program in healthcare garden design.
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