Have you ever driven along a tree-lined street and appreciated the shade, beauty, and sense of peace? You are experiencing the positive impacts healthy trees can have on communities.
Benefits of a thriving urban canopy:
- Increasing property value. The presence of larger street trees can add from 3% – 15% to home values.
- Increasing spending in business districts. Shoppers spend 9% – 12% more for goods and services in central business districts with high quality tree canopies.
- Improving driving safety by decreasing highway and mid-block crash rates.
- Preventing crime. Public housing communities with more trees experience 52% fewer total crimes, 48% fewer property crimes, and 56% fewer violent crimes.
- Keeping citizens healthier by trapping dust, pollen and smoke, resulting in cleaner, cooler air.
- Providing environmental benefits like oxygen production, carbon dioxide absorption, erosion prevention, improved water quality, and providing wildlife habitat.
How can communities keep their trees healthy?
To keep urban forests in top condition, it’s important for communities to engage the services of certified arborists. City arborists are familiar with every tree in their community. They collect measurements, take photos, and store their data in a database or app. They use this data to create and apply Management Plans to maintain a healthy canopy and safeguard citizens.
Municipal arborists’ activities include:
- forestry, ecology, hydrology, atmospheric science, energy, and stormwater control
- developing a tree risk management program
- tree inspections and assessments
- insect and disease management
- planting location identification
- interaction with the community, politicians and other agencies
How to care for your community’s trees
- Adopt a tree ordinance.
- Develop a tree risk management program that includes:
- Systematic scheduled inspections of all trees in high occupancy areas.
- A protocol for prioritizing mitigation.
- Recordkeeping, reporting and communications.
- Standard of care adopted.
- Tree risk assessment specifications meeting ANSI A300 Part 9 standards
- Hire dedicated staff to supervise your community’s Management Program and the budget.
- Consult or use an ISA Certified Arborist (TRAQ trained).
- Require community forestry training for tree board members on an ongoing basis, including:
- Basic Tree Care with GFC
- Extension and online training
- Have an annual budget for risk management and ongoing tree care.
- Only use tree care practices that follow ANSI standards and tree risk specifications.
- Through the news media, recognize your community tree advocates and celebrate your community’s trees.
- Recruit and retain volunteers.
Check out these resources for tree care, education, and certifications.
|American Grove||Social networking with tree enthusiasts, statewide and nationwide.||External Website|
|Arbor Day||Resources and ideas for local celebrations.||Page on GFC Website|
|Ask the Arborist||Online assistance for homeowner's questions about the trees in your yard.||Page on GFC Website|
|Certified Arborist Directory||Certified arborists are experienced professionals who have passed an extensive examination covering all aspects of tree care. Check this list for your city or county arborist if you have questions or concerns about street or park trees in your neighborhood.||Page on GFC Website|
|Coastal Arborist Association||The Coastal Arborist Association (CAA) was founded in 2015 to provide education, training, and fellowship to arborists in the coastal region of Georgia and South Carolina.||External Website|
|Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation||Tree advocacy group.||External Website|
|Cobb Trees||Tree advocacy group.||External Website|
|Community Forestry Assistance Program||GFC’s Sustainable Community Forestry Program (SCFP) provides technical support to cities, counties, elementary schools, college campuses, home owners and nonprofit organizations.||Page on GFC Website|
|Community Forestry Friend Program Application||The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) is rewarding communities and campuses implementing|
exemplary urban forestry programs with a Community Forestry Friend social media badge. Earning
the badge means your community manages its trees with the best urban and community forestry
practices, partners and professionalism. Download application to apply for the Community Forestry Friend program.
|eLearn Urban Forestry (eXtension Campus)||eLearn Urban Forestry is a distance-learning program for beginning urban foresters and allied professionals. These include foresters, natural resource planners, landscape architects, city officials and public works employees. (ISA credit and certificate of completion available)||External Website|
|eLearn Urban Forestry (Southern Regional Extension Forestry)||eLearn Urban Forestry is a distance-learning program for beginning urban foresters and allied professionals. These include foresters, natural resource planners, landscape architects, city officials and public works employees. (ISA credit not available)||External Website|
|Emergency Response Plan for Community Officials||An effective storm plan will help to minimize a storm's impacts on your community forest. This Emergency Response Plan developed in Columbus, GA is a good example.|
|Georgia Arborist Association||A resource for tree care professionals and the public to protect and care for Georgia's trees.||External Website|
|Georgia ReLeaf Program||Georgia ReLeaf efforts to help south Georgia communities replace tree canopy lost to severe storms and other communities planting trees for veterans.||External Website|
|Georgia Tree Council||Tree advocacy group who works to sustain Georgia's green legacy by partnering with individuals, organizations, and communities in raising awareness toward improving and maintaining Georgia's community forests.||External Website|
|Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives Research||Take care of the forest, and it will take care of you. As research is being conducted and becoming available, findings reinforce what much of the urban forestry community already knows — that trees have a positive impact on human health. Check out research on why Healthy Trees make Healthy Lives.||External Website|
|Homeowner’s Role in Maintaining the Urban Forest||Download this guide to get tips on maintaining trees, selecting an arborist and a homeowner tree survey checklist.|
|Managing Storm Damaged Trees: Do’s and Don’ts||Check out this resource for the Do's and Don'ts on how to manage damaged trees from a storm. Includes: how to hire a professional for clean up, chainsaw safety, pruning and maintenance for damaged trees and more.|
|Marietta TreeKeepers||Tree advocacy group.||External Website|
|Park Pride||Tree advocacy group.||External Website|
|Savannah Tree Foundation||Tree advocacy group.||External Website|
|Save Energy – Plant Trees!||This video provides insights into the value of planting trees.||Video|
|Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA and Tree Line USA Programs||Celebrating communities all across America that are creating healthier and more abundant community forests.||Page on GFC Website|
|Trees Atlanta||Tree advocacy group.||External Website|
|Trees Columbus||Tree advocacy group.||External Website|
|Urban Forest Strike Team||This video outlines the work of GFC's Urban Forest Strike Team, which helps communities deal with the aftermath of severe storms.||Video|
|Urban Forest Sustainability and Management Review – Checklist||The Urban Forest Sustainability & Management Review System is designed to provide a framework for comprehensively evaluating urban forest management programs. This review system (the checklist and the process) can be used for municipal or county urban forest management programs, or to evaluate college or corporate campus management programs||External Website|