Urban and Community Forestry

Missouri Department of Conservation Receives National Award

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) was awarded the 2015 Public Awareness of Trees Award at the annual Arbor Day Awards ceremony in Nebraska City, Neb.

State Forester Lisa Allen accepted the award on behalf of the Trees Work campaign. The awards, which recognize leaders in tree planting, conservation, and environmental stewardship, are part of the annual Arbor Day weekend celebration held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center.

Chicago to Plant 11,800 Trees in Communities This Year

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the City will plant more than 11,800 trees this year in neighborhoods citywide.

“Chicago was one of the first cities in the nation that incorporated planting trees and urban forests into the city’s plan and design, and we’re proud to continue this tradition today,” said Mayor Emanuel. “True to our motto as a ‘City in a Garden,’ tree planting is a vital component of creating and maintaining healthy and vibrant neighborhoods in Chicago.”

New Survey Highlights Chicago’s Relationship with Trees

Lydia Scott is the Director of the Chicago Region Tree Initiative for The Morton Arboretum

Chicago and its seven surrounding counties have more than 150 million trees, which make our area’s communities healthier, more sustainable and more beautiful.  But the trees that grow in the Chicago area are under serious threat, with one of every five Chicago area parkway trees likely to soon be destroyed by the emerald ash borer beetle.1 

Urban Trees Help Us Breathe

Rebecca Nisley is a science writer and editor for the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station.

We know that trees provide ecosystem benefits even in cities. The oxygen, cooling shade, and carbon storage are commonly understood, but did you know that trees also remove air pollution?

Trees do this by catching small particles of soot and dirt on their surfaces and also by absorbing gaseous pollutants (such as ozone, O3) through the leaf pores.  

Greening the Gateway Cities Program Enhancing Public Benefits of Trees

With support from the Urban and Community Forestry program of the USDA Forest Service, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry & Fire is achieving goals outlined in Massachusetts’ Forest Action Plan.

Landscape Scale Restoration: Community Greenspace Planning in Kentucky

With support from the USDA Forest Service, the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) is achieving goals outlined in its Forest Action Plan.

In conjunction with local partners, Kentucky has helped six communities in the southeastern Appalachian corridor develop their own plans for greenspaces, all of which have begun implementing these designs.

The plans were used as a major component in securing hundreds of thousands of grant and local funding to create new greenspaces in six communities.

130,000 Free Seedlings to Replace Trees Lost in Superstorm Sandy

The New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, a partnership between the Department of Environmental Protection’s State Forestry Services and the Arbor Day Foundation, is distributing 130,000 free tree seedlings to residents through 178 locations across the state.

City Losing Tree Canopy at an "Alarming Rate"

Louisville has been losing about 54,000 trees a year for the last several years, according to a $115,700 study recently made public by Mayor Greg Fischer.

"We have not managed this resource, up until now," said Katy Schneider, co-chair of the Louisville Metro Tree Advisory Commission, which was involved in the study. "As a result, we are losing canopy at ... an alarming rate."

Urban Trees Face Many Challenges

Street trees face some tough challenges. 

Last summer the city of Omaha evaluated some of the factors affecting the health and longevity of street trees. Not surprisingly, surrounding buildings and roads have a huge impact on trees.

The heavy equipment needed for hardscaping compresses soil and cuts the space for air and water infiltration in half. This compaction limits tree root growth and suppresses the buildup of organic matter.

Local Support of Urban Forests Recognized

Nationwide, more than 3,400 Tree City USA communities serve as home to more than 135 million Americans. 

The Tree City USA program, administered by the Arbor Day Foundation in Lincoln, Neb., provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across America that meet certain requirements. Those requirements include the establishment of a tree board or department, a community tree ordinance, specific spending levels for urban forestry and planned Arbor Day celebrations.