Thursday, December 31, 2009

State of PA recruiting for Chesapeake Bay urban forester position - duties related to urban tree canopy targeting in the state; PA

Chesapeake Bay Forester

Urban Forestry

Job Description: Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Assessments

A Chesapeake Bay Forester (Forester) will be hired through PA Community Forests and housed with the DCNR Bureau of Forestry, Rural and Community Forestry Section in Harrisburg. The individual will establish a replicable method for communities to proceed through the UTC process. This will include information on how to obtain imagery data, how to get those data analyzed, how to set UTC goals, and how to develop a management plan using the information from the imagery along with the goals that have been set.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Casey Trees releases report on results of volunteer-powered inventory of all trees and shrubs on public and private property in McLean Gardens neighborhood; Washington, DC

Casey Trees releases report on results of volunteer-powered inventory of all trees and plantable spaces on public and private property in Crestwood neighborhood; Washington, DC

Del Mar College's Integrated Geospatial Education & Technology Training program offers course on Urban Tree Canopy analysis

Topic: Urban Environmental Management

Urban Tree Canopy

Problem Statement: Cities are heat islands for capturing carbon dioxide from a concentration of vehicles and buildings.

Urban forests help mitigate those effects. Can we quantify some of those effects using remote sensing imagery?

Level: beginning

Software: ArcGIS, ENVI, Powerpoint, Word

Landsat images offer clearer picture of changes in watershed over 22 year period; Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Journal: Landsat images offer clearer picture of changes in watershed - January 2010: Images taken from satellites more than 400 miles above the Earth's surface are bringing land-cover changes throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed into tighter focus.
The images, which capture tracts as small as 30 square meters, offer a surprising picture of some trends in land cover. For instance, they indicate that the rate of farm land loss has slowed, while the fastest rate of urban expansion in recent decades occurred between 1984 and 1992.
But the images also confirm the ongoing-and accelerating-loss of forest land in the watershed.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Telegraph looks back: Decade's top midstate stories include 2008 storm's impacts on canopy; Macon, GA

The Telegraph looks back: Decade's top midstate stories - Local & State -
2008: A storm system embedded with tornadoes struck Middle Georgia before daybreak on Mother’s Day. South Macon and western Bibb County saw the brunt of the storm, with massive trees crashing down on rooftops and high winds tearing up homes and businesses. The county’s tree canopy took a big hit, with up to 90 percent of Macon State College’s trees decimated. Although there were no deaths in Bibb County, Tracey and Lisa Clements of Laurens County were killed when a tornado hit their mobile home. Statewide, insurance companies paid more than $125 million in damages from the storms.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Valuation of Tree Canopy on Property Values of Six Communities in Cincinnati, OH

Author: Dimke, Kelley C.
Description: The value of the urban forest as a component of the urban environment is significant. Environmental benefits of the urban forest include improved air quality, energy conservation through reduction of heating and cooling costs, climate moderation, flood control, reduction in noise levels and wildlife habitat. The urban forest also provides many social benefits. Studies have shown that trees reduce stress and improve the physical health of urbanites. Financial support for urban forestry in many cities is on the decline. The objective of this research was to evaluate the impact trees have on property values of six communities (Bond Hill, Carthage, Clifton, Hyde Park, Kennedy Heights and North Avondale) of varying socio-economic levels in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tax assessor records were obtained from property sales between the years 2000 and 2005. One hundred sites were randomly selected from each of the six communities. Data were collected from each site during the winter as well as the summer months. Dominant genus, caliper of dominant genus, estimate of tree cover, and overall property maintenance were recorded. Using the hedonic method of cost benefit analysis it was determined that each percentage increase in tree cover added $783.98 to the property value. The average value of tree canopy across the 600 sites is $20,226 or 10.7% of the sale price of the home. The findings from this research will be useful to Urban Forestry Departments in their requests for funding.

Passionate about saving American elms; Portland, OR

Passionate about saving American elms Portland News - –
A virulent fungus has been slowly killing the city's majestic American elms.

But careful pruning and tree inoculations by citizens groups and urban foresters during the past decade have kept losses to an acceptable number, says city arborist Rob Crouch.

'We've slowed the spread to about 30 trees a year, which is a reasonable rate for a city this size,' Crouch says. 'We may lose all of the elms eventually, but with the numbers on private and public land, it could take about 100 years for all of them to disappear.'

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Urban Tree Canopy News will be closed for the weekend. Happy Holidays and we will back in action next week!

Quarantine bugs ash producers; Batesville, IN

Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana - Quarantine bugs ash producers:
Ripley County became the 21st in Indiana to have EAB confirmed after an Adams Township landowner called Purdue University in November. Experts estimated the pest has been here for at least two or three years.
Because it was found near the county line, “I would bet you it's in Franklin County as well,” Ellis said.
First the township was quarantined, then the county, which means regulated items cannot be moved out of Ripley County except to any contiguous counties also being quarantined. “Finally, the federal government comes in and says you can't move quarantined items out of the state.”
Quarantined items include the insect itself; all hardwood firewood, not just ash; ash dunnage with crating; ash nursery stock; ash lumber and wood with bark attached; entire ash trees; ash limbs and branches; and uncomposted ash chips greater than 1 inch in diameter.

WSU profs tackle the thorny question: Are natives the answer?

Last week Jeff kicked off a lively discussion about invasive plants. Let me state up front that no one on this blog is promoting invasive plants. But the issues surrounding invasive plants are extremely complex and have profound implications for many groups with whom we work in landscape horticulture and urban and community forestry. It is essential in these discussions that we separate fact from hyperbole. In some quarters, lines have been blurred and people fail to make key distinctions and lump exotic, alien, or non-native species together with invasives. According to the Federal Executive Order on Invasive species 'Invasive species' means an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. All invasives are alien but only a small fraction of alien species are invasive (all humans are mammals but not all mammals are humans). Nevertheless, there is a temptation to ‘hedge all bets’ and promote only native species for horticultural planting since native plants, by definition, cannot be invasive. In addition, there is a ‘feel good’ aura that surrounds native plants – if they’re native they must be good – that clouds some of the logic in the argument.

The Boston Indicators Project uses urban tree canopy initiaitve as one element of urban improvement strategy; Boston, MA

The Boston Indicators Project - Environment Innovations:
In an attempt to use nature to improve the quality of life in Boston, Boston's Urban Tree Canopy Initiative is dedicated to increasing its tree cover 20% by the year 2020. By planting approximately 100,000 trees, Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Urban Forest Coalition hope to improve the health and well being of Boston's residents and visitors and reduce Boston's contribution to global warming. Recent studies demonstrate that urban forests can help cities meet important environmental and public health challenges, including improving air quality, maximizing energy-efficiency, and calming crime spots.

Montgomery County RainScapes program offers rebates of up to $600 for Urban Tree Canopy as stormwater and energy reduction practice on residential and commercial properties; Montgomery County, MD

Montgomery County Rainscapes program

The mission of the RainScapes Program is to promote sustainable stormwater management practices throughout Montgomery County that support the County's water quality and runoff reduction requirements for its NPDES MS 4 Permit

Why are only certain watersheds eligible for the Urban Tree Rebate?

The watersheds named in the Urban Tree Rebate are those which have lost a significant portion of their Urban Tree Canopy. This rebate is to encourage tree planting in those areas and tree placement on the property should be done to provide shading of impervious surfaces and Heating/ cooling units.

Blogger transposes city street tree planting list for LeDroit neighborhood onto Google Maps as a resource for residents; Washington, DC

A Tree-Hugger’s Christmas Left for LeDroit:
DC’s Urban Forestry Administration has released its tree-planting list for early 2010. UFA aims to plant 3,000 trees between the curbs and the sidewalks in the coming year to help expand the city’s tree canopy. Trees prevent erosion, lower cooling bills, absorb pollutants, and just look pretty.
We have plotted each planned tree for LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale on the map below.

Report finds despite economy Leesburg still highly priced, has lost canopy since 2007 due to development; Leesburg, VA

Leesburg Today - The Journal of Loudoun County - Report: Leesburg Still Pricey Place To Live:
The town continued with its environmental endeavors. More than 900 new trees were planted in the town in FY09, with several hundred along a portion of Battlefield Parkway, at Ida Lee Park, the water treatment plant and West Market Street. The report does note, however, that the 27 percent town tree canopy reported in 2007 has diminished due to development. The Leesburg Watershed Committee and the Piedmont Environmental Council also oversaw the planting of trees in Kincaid Forest and next to Village Lanes.

ARRA-Duke Energy project trades stately oaks for crepe myrtles under neighborhood power lines; Raleigh-Durham, NC

Bull City Rising: Duke/Gregson street tree canopy replacement starts before New Years Day:
The cherished oaks that line urban Durham's streets give near-downtown neighborhoods much of their character. But their time has been widely recognized to be coming to an end, as the trees reach the end of their natural lifespan.
And, of course, today's oaks run smack into the little problem of Duke Energy power lines, which weren't so much a concern when the trees were first planted during the Great Depression era as a WPA project.
It's fitting, then, that the economic stimulus effort of the Great Recession would come along to help replace some of these trees. (Goodness knows it's better than the trees being left to their current wacky-cutback state.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cambridge Climate Congress - are plans aspirational abstractions or actual? Cambridge, MA

Guest commentary: Defining green in Cambridge - Cambridge, Massachusetts - Cambridge Chronicle:
Here are a few items pulled from the 2002 report that seem to lack follow-through.
Optimize building design and the use of vegetation to shade buildings and reduce the urban heat island effect. Use geographic information systems to map the city’s tree canopy coverage and assess the environmental services provided by the urban forest; maximize the tree canopy cover, particularly over parking lots and air-conditioning units; install roofs with high reflectance or “green” landscaped roofs; incorporate reflectance and shading standards in designs for parking lots and building construction.
I know of no green roofs that have been created in response to this plan, and the city seems not to do a good job or maintaining or replacing its trees.
Promote Transit Improvements. Support extension of the Green Line, acquisition of alternative fuel buses, and plans for the Urban Ring.
To date, I have only seen one Green Line Extension meeting at which our city had official representation.

Town issues RFP for street tree inventory to support planting plan, ordinance enforcement; Cornelius, NC

Town of Cornelius Tree Inventory and Analysis on Public Streeets right-of-way RFP

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mature tree canopy - great for reducing energy expenditures, not so great for federal tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades; USA

Need tax credits this year? Check out energy efficient home upgrades - Green House - Alas, since most of the federal credits are for existing homes, I looked at the ones for solar, wind, geothermal and fuel cells. Because our street's tree canopy makes our lot so shady, solar isn't viable. It's not windy, so a turbine makes no sense.
I focused on geothermal heating/cooling and got multiple bids, which were extremely expensive -- about $65,000. I'm convinced the contractors jacked up their prices to account for the tax credit I'd get. Bottom line: Since we're building a well-insulated house, we couldn't justify the cost. Based on our energy modeling, the payback period would probably be 20 years or more. We'll use a very high-efficiency conventional gas furnace.
So for my new ultra-efficient home, which I expect will get the top rating from the U.S. Green Building Council and the National Association of Home Builders, the amount I'll get in federal energy-efficiency tax credits: Zero.

Tree canopy goal, trees and overhead lines dominate City Manager's report to Council; Bowie, MD

City of Bowie - Weekly Status Report:
The Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) discussed a possible Urban Tree Canopy goal for the City at their November 4th Regular Meeting. After much discussion concerning the amount of tree cover removed by BGE as part of the Electric Reliability Action Plan and the high number of unclaimed resident vouchers from the BGE program, the EAC passed a motion to adopt a statement to take to City Council. The statement endorses the concept of asking BGE to provide the City all, or a portion of, unredeemed vouchers. The EAC believes the resulting pool of funds could be used to support an incentive program for residents to plant trees on their lots. The Urban Tree Canopy study completed for the City this year indicated that the tree canopy goal cannot be met on public land alone and the most potential for implementing the goal is on private land.

Atlanta BeltLine official praises Trees Atlanta and others for role in walkable city; Atlanta, GA

Carless in Atlanta — seeing city’s streets and neighborhoods on foot « SaportaReport:
By Guest Columnist E. FRED YALOURIS, director of design for Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

I am often asked about my decision to move to Atlanta without a car, and, if there is time, I like to take the opportunity to bore my listener with the story of how I made this decision.

I had come to Atlanta a month before starting work at the BeltLine to attend a public meeting at City Hall. It was on a beautiful spring day, Saturday afternoon, May 2, 2008. The sun was shining, the outside temperature was 64 degrees, and you could smell the spring blossoms in the air.

It was such a nice afternoon, that, after an excellent public meeting, I decided to walk the nine or ten blocks up Peachtree to my hotel. To my naïve surprise, except for a few homeless folks, I saw no one on the sidewalks over the roughly one mile walk through downtown Atlanta!

Secondly, although it was a salubrious spring day, all the cars on the street had their windows up. Curiously, this experience helped me to understand one of the key underlying missions of the BeltLine vision: get people out of their cars and allow them to walk.

Courthouse couplet still a conundrum - not enough room for mature trees, public buildings, and businesses in roadway improvement; Flathead County, MT

Courthouse couplet still a conundrum:
State highway officials on Thursday unveiled more options for widening U.S. 93 from 13th Street to just north of the Flathead County Courthouse couplet, and one thing’s clear from the newest design plans: Something’s got to give.
Whether it’s the county commissioners’ building, the MSU Extension Service quarters and county mail room, mature trees lining the highway or neighboring businesses remains to be seen. The bottom line is that there just isn’t enough room to expand the highway and still keep everything in place.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Toronto Hydro transforms battle between power lines and trees, looks to solutions that protect both; Toronto, Canada

Protecting a city's greenery, one branch at a time:
Trees earn their keep in the urban landscape.
'Trees can help us enjoy our urban life so much more,' says Janet McKay, executive director, Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF).
Beyond their natural beauty, urban trees improve the quality of urban life in countless ways. Their leaves produce oxygen while removing carbon dioxide from the air, with an average tree cleaning up four to five kilograms of pollution in a year. They help prevent soil erosion and are natural habitats for birds, insects and other urban wildlife.
Trees provide privacy, add to a home's value and can lower home heating and cooling costs by up to 10%. Not surprisingly, the City of Toronto has set the goal of increasing the city's tree canopy to 30% coverage in 2020 from 18% in 2006. And Toronto Hydro Corp. is committed to helping.
'We do a yearly Earth Day tree-planting event with Toronto Hydro,' Ms. McKay says. 'More than 100 Toronto Hydro employees come out and we plant several hundred trees and shrubs. They're just amazing and are so willing and keen to help out.'
Among its other tree initiatives, the corporation, which was LEAF's first corporate sponsor 11 years ago, has planted 10,000 native trees across Toronto in partnership with the Ontario Forestry Association.
But for all their benefits, when the wind blows and the storms pound, trees can cause havoc, with fallen branches crashing into cars, homes - or worse, people. And they can bring down a power line in a flash, turning it into a live hazard on the ground, leaving homes and businesses without power.
Because of this, overhead power lines and trees have historically been at odds. In recent years, however, Toronto Hydro has been transforming these odds into opportunities for greater efficiency, public safety and healthier urban trees.

What are the Ages of Trees in Your Neighborhood? Morton Arboretum experts provide tables, report: Downers Grove, IL

What are the Ages of Trees in Your Neighborhood?:
By John F. Dwyer, Research Associate
The Morton Arboretum
Trees are often a distinctive feature of the urban landscape. Large trees are especially prominent, have a particularly significant influence on the urban landscape, and symbolize permanence amid change. We are curious about the age of these venerable giants as an indication of the history they have witnessed. Their ages also offer a clue to their significance by indicating how long we might have to wait for a replacement tree to reach their size.
To get some indication of the age of urban trees, Kerstin Von der Heide, Forester, Village of Downers Grove, Illinois measured tree diameters (4.5 feet above the ground) and counted the number of annual rings on the stumps of 328 trees representing 24 species removed from along village streets. The oldest was a 167-year-old white oak that measured 26.2 inches in diameter. All trees older than 135 years were white oak or burr oak. The largest tree measured was a 52.2 inch American elm 110 years old. Other trees over 40' in diameter were willow, green ash, or honeylocust.

Grow Boston Greener offers tree planting grants to non-profits; Boston, MA - News & Views for Boston's North End & Waterfront - Tree Grants for Non-Profits:
Are you a non-profit that wants to plant trees?
The Grow Boston Greener initiative is offering grants of $250 to $2,500 to plant and maintain new trees for non-profit organizations such as community development corporations, school foundations, community health centers and local open space and environmental groups.

Bowie makes tree canopy expansion potential analysis part of city's annexation strategy; Bowie, MD

Annexation strategy for 2010
Another important factor supporting additional annexations is theCsity desire to increase its urban tree canopy UTCcoverage There are several areas where adjacent or nearby land is partially or completely wooded Adding these parcels to the City's incorporated area would help to increase the overall tree canopy coverage totals for the City. For example the majority of the previously mentioned McLaughlin property is wooded but is located outside ofthe City limits. Another wooded property the City owns outside the current boundaries is the Fladung property on strategic annexation that would increase the City's tree canopy coverage. Staff prepared a preliminary analysis of possible annexations that would be driven by the tree canopy expansion objective (see map in Attachment 2). One of the major attractions of this process is that the majority of this land is unimproved and therefore annexation will have little or no impact on City existing services.

Artist's illustration of urban tree siting opportunities for TreeBaltimore accepted into Art Institute of Washington=Arlington show; Baltimore, MD

Trees « Peggy Fussell Illustration:
Yes indeed, it has been busy around here. Above is an illustration I did for TreeBaltimore. I am pleased to say that it has been accepted into the Illustrators Club of DC, MD and VA members show. The show will be at the Art Institute of Washington- Arlington and runs from January 9, 2010 – February 7, 2010.

Orlando completes 5-year 10,000 tree public space hurricane mitigation program; Orlando, FL

10,000 trees planted: Orlando has it made in the shade --
Five summers ago, a trio of hurricanes devastated Orlando's tree canopy, scarring a city known for the shady brick streets running through its oldest neighborhoods.

On Thursday, the city completed a five-year initiative meant to repair the damage and someday return the City Beautiful's tree canopy to its former glory. Mayor Buddy Dyer planted the last tree of the city's '10,000 Trees Initiative' launched in the aftermath of the 2004 hurricane season.

'When you fly into Orlando, you observe the oaks and the pine trees. When you think of our neighborhoods, especially our downtown neighborhoods, you picture the tree canopy,' said Dyer, who planted a 16-foot live oak at Wadeview Park on Thursday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ARRA money helps Georgia provide green jobs through state Forestry Commission; GA

The Weekly Online!:
MACON, Ga., (December 17, 2009) - The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) will assist in the creation of more than 30 jobs in north Georgia as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The federal program will subsidize a grant totaling $897,000 to help stimulate the economy and restore ecosystems impacted by growth and urbanization. The funds will not replace or supplant state mandated GFC budget reductions, but can only be used for job retention or the creation of new, temporary positions in the forestry industry.

“Georgia’s ‘Growing Green’ project will help many north Georgia counties where the highest net changes in employment rates have occurred,” said Susan Reisch, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for GFC’s Sustainable Community Forestry Program. “The funding will help create and retain green jobs in nurseries, tool and equipment sales, and landscape architecture, among others. These jobs will help sustain the health and diversity of north Georgia forests, which have been impacted by the pressures of growth and urbanization.”

Casey Trees launches on-line tool to help connect people to trees deemed special due to size, history, or personal significance as well as register trees planted to help achieve tree canopy goal; Washington, DC

In April 2009, Casey Trees launched the Casey Trees Map, an interactive online tool to help users determine the existing Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) and planting opportunities for any address in the District and identify every tree Casey Trees has planted since 2003.

Just today in a soft launch we rolled out an enhanced version of Casey Trees Map featuring our new Trees of Note program and Add-A-Tree feature.

Trees of Note is a program that connects people to trees in the District deemed special because of their size, history and/or personal significance. Anyone can nominate or locate trees in three distinguished categories – Big Trees, Witness Trees and My Tree.

Management to facilitate tree growth, new tree plantings part of resevoir restoration plan; Roxborough, PA

Montgomery News:
Maintaining the site as open space has been a prime neighborhood goal. To this end Upper Roxborough Civic began to establish stewardship of the site two years ago, clearing some areas of invasive plants and planting natives. This year, utilizing funds from a city activities grant secured with the assistance of 4th District Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., whose office has been very supportive of these efforts, 1400 feet of woods on Summit Ave. from Lare St. to Eva St. were cleared of underbrush so that the tree canopy can expand. Several areas with no trees will be replanted next year. This effort is a textbook example of the potential benefits when we have cooperation between community volunteers, a concerned and expert non-profit (The Schuylkill Center), and local government, The Council Office and Fairmount Park Commission.

Bartlett arborist gets to root of Macon State’s tree problem; Macon, GA

Arborist gets to root of Macon State’s tree problem - Local & State -
Workers from Bartlett Tree Experts in Tucker spent hours Wednesday using air guns to aerate the soil underneath oak trees planted in the late 1960s.
After losing much of their canopy to the tornado, the trees have lost the ability to feed themselves, said Tyler Baxter, an arborist and Bartlett employee.
Baxter said aerating the roots and replacing mulch with manure will give the trees a better growing environment.
The work is being funded by a $20,000 grant from the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Urban & Community Forestry Grant program, according to a news release.

Under the grant’s terms, the Macon State College Foundation is providing matching funds.
Derrick Catlett, a groundskeeper at the college, said the campus lost an estimated 95 percent of its tree canopy, including about 3,900 trees to the tornado.
Catlett said workers have given priority to many of the oldest trees on campus, many planted when the college was first established.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tree canopy area is place of contemplation and relaxation by design in Goerlitz Marien Square; Görlitz; Germany

Landezine » Blog Archive » Goerlitz Marien Square
The concept for the redesign of the “Marienplatz” (Marien square) and adjacent street spaces was developed with special regard to its unique location between the former fortifications and historical succession of squares within the Old Town.The reorganization of traffic resulted in the development of a generous urban open space that can be distinguished into three zones by function and by means of design. The area around the “Frauenturm” (women’s tower) represents a link into the historic Old Town. The central zone is a place for events and activities, is designed for flexible uses and is kept free of larger structures. The tree canopy to the south rounds off the square and becomes a place of contemplation and relaxation. The water feature as a modern adaptation of the historical moat becomes the focal point and lively centre of the square

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

UVA Planning students release Green Lands report for Staunton-conserve tree canopy for ecosystem services among recommendations; Staunton, VA

Planning students release Green Lands report for Staunton The News Leader:
After a semester of studying Staunton's natural resources, the U.Va. Green Lands class has finished its study and recommendations for the city.

The class goal was to study the green infrastructure within Staunton and recommend ways to preserve and enhance it. The full report is available for download at the right.Recommendations
Conserve and enhance habitat for native wildlife by conserving larger forested landscapes within Staunton’s city limits.

Conserve and restore urban tree canopy to improve air and water quality and to reduce pressure on stormwater infrastructure.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

UTC report published - finds Charlottesville has over 46% UTC; Charlottesville, VA

A Report on the City of Charlottesville's Existing and Possible Urban Tree Canopy

The analysis of Charlottesville’s urban tree canopy (UTC) was carried out by the Virginia Department of Forestry in collaboration with the City of Charlottesville and the Chesapeake Bay Program. Assistance was provided by the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program (VGEP) at Virginia Tech’s Department of Forestry
and by the Spatial Analysis Laboratory (SAL) of the University of Vermont.

The goal of the project was to apply the USDA Forest Service’s UTC assessment protocols to the City of Charlottesville. This analysis was conducted based on year 2008 data.

Cambridge Climate Protection Plan may not be following up on UTC-related items; Cambridge, MA

Cambridge Climate Congress at City Hall Cambridge Community Television:
Here are a few items I have pulled out of the 2002 report that seem to lack follow-through.
Optimize building design and the use of vegetation to shade buildings and reduce the urban heat island effect. Use geographic information systems to map the city’s tree canopy coverage and assess the environmental services provided by the urban forest; maximize the tree canopy cover, particularly over parking lots and air-conditioning units; install roofs with high reflectance or “green” landscaped roofs; incorporate reflectance and shading standards in designs for parking lots and building construction.

Friday, December 11, 2009

City of Orlando reaches goal of replacing 10,000 trees; Orlando, FL

City of Orlando Raises 'Green' Awareness Central Florida News, Info, Sports West Orlando News Online: Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioners will be raising awareness about Orlando’s urban tree canopy by planting the seven final trees during a week long celebration of the 10,000 Trees Initiative, a project to restore the forestry damage incurred by the hurricanes of 2004. The commemoration will begin with the 9,994th tree planting on Friday, December 11 and culminate in the 10,000th tree planting by Mayor Dyer on Thursday, December 17 at 3:30 p.m. at Wadeview park. The project will successfully meet its goal of replacing the 10,000 trees lost in Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jean by 2010.

Managing Rainwater for Urban Sustainability Using Trees and Structural Soils manual issued

Managing Rainwater for Urban Sustainability Using Trees and Structural Soils « Rainwater Management «
Urban Trees Enhance Water Infiltration
A group of researchers from Virginia Tech, Cornell, and University of California at Davis have been investigating innovative ways to maximize the potential of trees to address rainwater/stormwater in a series of studies supported by the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program.
Virginia Tech scientists used two container experiments to establish that urban tree roots have the potential to penetrate compacted subsoils and increase infiltration rates in reservoirs being used to store rainwater/stormwater. In one study, roots of both black oak and red maple trees penetrated clay loam soil compacted to 1.6 g cm-3, increasing infiltration rates by an average of 153%.
Structural soil reservoirs may provide new opportunities for meeting engineering, environmental, and greenspace management needs in urban areas. Further research is needed on the effects of tree roots and detention time on water quality in structural soils. Monitoring continues at four demonstration sites around the United States and updated information is posted as it becomes available.

Does coppicing promote biodiversity? Officials say yes, neighbors say "NO!"; Bexley, Kent, UK

Bexley Times - Residents fear forest devastation:
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners claim a stay of execution was granted to an ancient woodland facing 'savage' devastation.

Residents near Bexley Park Wood were so alarmed by the council's plans to coppice large swaths of the ancient wood that they formed a lobby group, winning a promise from council bosses to delay the project for one year.

In the latest meeting, members of Friends of Bexley Park Ancient Woods (FOBPAW) met with environmental officers on Monday at Bexley's Railway Tavern to try and safeguard the site's long-term future.

ARC honors Roswell for green efforts including tree planting for demand-side energy reduction; Atlanta, GA

ARC honors Roswell for green efforts
This month, Roswell became the first municipality in the metro area certified under the ARC’s Green Communities Program on the Silver Level. The ARC launched the program last year to improve environmental stewardship.
The ARC said Roswell improved energy performance through various efforts, such as replacing traffic signals and school zone flashers with LED bulbs and using solar-power lighting at a dog park.
The city also created a public-private Tree Planting Partnership to improve the tree canopy; it has resulted in the planting of 788 hardwoods and 3,838 shrubs and flowers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

17th Streetscape: City Trims Number of Trees to be Removed; Washington, DC

17th Streetscape: City Trims Number of Trees to be Removed « Borderstan:
Last Saturday ANC 2B/Dupont Circle held a rally and walk down 17th Street with city officials to review initial tree removal plans that were part of the 17th Streetscape project. Work began November 30.
The city’s initial plans called for the removal of almost all of the 35 trees between P and Riggs Streets NW on 17th. However, after the 17th Street walk, plans have been revised so that only about 10 trees will be removed from this stretch of the street.
Following is a detailed report on the Saturday walk and the city’s revised tree plans for 17th Street from Commissioner Jack Jacobson, ANC 2B-04.

University of Florida researchers issue report on Gainesville's urban forest, land cover; Gainsville, FL

FOR 215/FR277: Gainesville's Urban Forest Canopy Cover:
In 2006, 93 random sites were sampled and measured across Gainesville, Florida using the USDA Forest Service's Urban Forest Effects (UFORE) methods ( Crown measurements, tree species, land use conditions, shrub characteristics, and surface cover information were used to determine the urban forest cover and total leaf area in Gainesville. Leaf area, as estimated by the UFORE model, is the sum of all tree leaf surfaces. Urban forest canopy cover is the proportion of land surface area that lies directly beneath the crowns of all trees and tall shrubs. Urban forest includes all trees on private and public lands within the city limits of Gainesville.
Results indicate tree cover in Gainesville at 51 percent while shrub cover, often present under trees, was 16 percent. Pervious surface cover (bare soil, lawns, gardens, pastures) was 73 percent, impervious surface cover (concrete, roads, tar) was 15 percent, and buildings covered 9 percent of Gainesville. In addition to tree and shrub cover, information on surface covers can help planners and other professionals assess the potential for positive or negative environmental effects such as the ability of areas to infiltrate excess rainfall or identify areas that can be sources of excess stormwater runoff.

Urban Forest Project adds D.C. to list of cities in awareness campaign; Washington, D,C

Urban Forest Project makes D.C. greener American Observer:
In a city overrun by standstill traffic and scarce parking spaces, the district is going back to its roots—bringing 'green' back by turning its streets into an urban forest.
Banners designed by local designers and artists will be hung on light posts at high-traffic locations throughout the city as part of the Urban Forest Project. Each banner’s design will be a metaphor for the tree, a symbol of sustainability, aimed at making a visual statement on the environment.
The Urban Forest Project, conceived by Worldstudio, a marketing and design firm, was orginally executed in New York City in the Fall of 2006. The project promotes going green and has taken root in Albuquerque, Baltimore, Denver and Portland. The D.C. project will be the first to welcome design submissions in an open call. In other cities, the project designs have been invite-only.

City alters tree space design to encourage bigger, healthier trees; Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada - Tree canopy improvements have multiple benefits By Brent Mazerolle - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada:
New subdivisions will now see the rights of way along their major streets shifted to help the growth of more and bigger trees in the neighbourhoods.
The plan to increase the city's urban tree canopy affects only new street construction and will see sidewalks abutting curbs and homes on one side of the street set further back.
This will give the city more room to plant larger trees in their rights-of-way, which is not only an esthetic and environmental benefit, but also a valuable way to extend the life of asphalt, which breaks down more rapidly in direct sunlight.
The design will apply to streets designated urban local primary, those that handle less than 2,000 vehicles per day, and urban collector minor, those that handle 2,000 to 7,000 per day.

ALCOA and IN DNR partner to fund replacement of six ash with 17 new trees of other species; Greencastle, IN

Greencastle Banner-Graphic: Local News: Greencastle Parks Department completes tree planting grant: GREENCASTLE -- Because urban and community forests can make a difference in our lives and replenishing the tree cover within the municipal parks system is a high priority for the City of Greencastle, is what led the City of Greencastle Tree Board, Board of Park Commissioners and the Greencastle Parks and Recreation Department to apply for the ALCOA/DNR Community and Urban Forestry Tree Planting Partnership Grant.
Due to a generous grant from the ALCOA Foundation, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources -- Division of Forestry created the community tree planting partnership to assist municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to purchase and plant trees on public property.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ConnDOT Commissioner takes Tree Alliance's complaints about Merritt Parkway tree-cutting under advisement; Wilton, CT

Tree Alliance joins fight against Merritt tree-cutting - Wilton News - Wilton Villager - Wilton's Newspaper: "The Norwalk Tree Alliance has joined the effort to get the state Department of Transportation to trim back its tree cutting along the Merritt Parkway.

The Tree Alliance, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote Norwalk's urban forest canopy, expressed its position in an e-mail to ConnDOT Commissioner Joseph F. Marie and other state officials. Marie has taken the conservancy's concerns under advisement, according to the alliance.

Dave Tracy, the president of the Tree Alliance, told Marie that 'the irreparable cutting down of trees is removing the defining elements of the parkway,' according to a statement released by the alliance.

Tracy asked ConnDOT to work with the Merritt Parkway Conservancy and 'professional consultants to replant the appropriate trees and shrubs to restore the parkway's unique bucolic character which he reported has already been damaged in Fairfield and Trumbull.'"

Court reduces tree protection law violation fine on appeal, but upholds conviction; Takoma Park, MD

$1,000 fine cut in Takoma Park tree case -
Takoma Park, which prides itself on its leafy canopy, has strict rules about protecting its trees. Arborist Todd Bolton roams the community looking for violations, but Alexander and Wasserstrom say they think he spoke for the trees a little too forcefully in their case.
They appealed their citation in District Court in Silver Spring last Tuesday, and Judge Stephen P. Johnson lowered the fine to $250, plus $7.50 in court fees. The judge also determined that Bolton had cause to issue the citation from what the arborist had seen on the couple's property.

Mature trees fall due to $11-million stimulus infusion - replanting to occur; Amherstburg, Ontario

Amherstburg, Ontario gets $11-million stimulus infusion – Daily Commercial News:
Archer described Laird Ave with its historic and expensive homes, and having a thick tree canopy, as a “jewel.” But there were a few problems with the layout.
Parking was ill-defined. “It could become just a mass of vehicles during special events,” he said.
As a result of the improvements, diagonal spots are clearly marked with decorative borders along with median bull noses that will contain planters. New curbs and gutters were also installed where ragged grass strips trailed-off into broken pavement.
The entire street had to be sunk two feet. The median was excavated including foliage along with some larger trees, provoking some public criticism.
Archer said the street had to be dropped “significantly” to alleviate water draining on to private properties at the north end. Some of the removed trees will be replanted but much of the new foliage will be young and small.

USDA/NSF grant helps researchers develop city carbon budget including UTC goal; Boston, MA

Sizing Up Carbon Emissions BU Today:
Calculating your carbon footprint online involves nothing more than a couple of mouse clicks. Measuring the carbon footprint of a city? That takes more detective work.
Boston University researchers are on the case. Nathan Phillips, a College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of geography and environment and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and his colleagues received a $300,000 grant in September from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service to study the flow of carbon in and out of Boston. Beyond learning how to quantify and predict carbon levels, they want to inform policy decisions on carbon emissions and urban sustainability.One goal is to create a high-resolution map of Boston. Red spots would indicate carbon emission zones, Phillips explains, and green spots would reveal carbon uptake zones. Color intensity might show ongoing carbon hot spots. The graphic could predict how human activity or policy changes affect carbon concentrations.

Boston officials have pledged to reduce carbon emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 and to increase tree canopy cover from 29 percent to 35 percent by 2030; trees reduce carbon and add oxygen. BU-led research could define where best to focus to achieve those goals and could measure success.

Zoning code rewrite pits trees against solar panels and gardens, private property against developers; Denver, CO

Welcome to the Washington Park Profile – one of Denver's finest newspapers - “Sustainability” Still Undefined, Elusive In New Zoning Code:
Another potential solar problem area that has traditionally been looked at as an untouchable environmental imperative – our city’s tree canopy – concerns DuVivier, as well. “Several states have trees as a hot button issue,” she said. “Some have restrictions on trees that might block solar panels. I know we want more trees for oxygen, but it’s about having the right trees in the right place. Not every tree is equal. We want to encourage species that provide shade and oxygen but allow the sun to get to solar panels and gardens.”
In addition to going farther to preserve solar access, 3PA’s McFadden would like to see Denver pay more attention to other issues including a broader allowance for backyard husbandry (chickens, goats, etc.), vertical gardening (indoor gardening in high-rise structures) and reducing rainwater runoff from residential lots through rainwater catchment (which is quite dicey due to traditional water laws that forbid such diversion of the gold that falls from the sky – although Colorado State Senate bill SB09-080, signed by Gov. Ritter last April, allows some rural residents with exempt wells not administered under the state’s traditional priority water rights system to begin capturing rainwater from their rooftops), rooftop gardens and other techniques for diverting the liquid gold to onsite needs rather than down the gutter to the storm drain, to the rivers."

Australian scientist links forest logging to bushfires, calls for review of practice near human settlements; Australia

ABC South East NSW - Scientist links forest logging to bushfires:
The Australian National University's Professor David Lindenmayer says removing the tree canopy allows sunlight to dry the forest floor.
Professor Lindenmayer and his colleagues have found forests are more prone to fire if they have been logged.
He says it is time to rethink if logging is appropriate given the heightened fire risk.
'I'm saying that we probably do need to think deeply about where we do the logging,' he said.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"The tree is bound to get sacrified for the cause" of urban infrastructure; Mysore, India

Star Of Mysore Online:
Mysore, Dec. 7 (KMC)- This Honge tree (Pongamia pinnata) standing on the road's edge near a supermarket at Ballal Circle is dying slowly, eliciting concern from the tree lovers in that area.
The avenue tree, aged approximately 50 years and having dense foliage, had been providing ample shade for pedestrians.
However, it appears to be a victim of urbanisation — the leaves have been turning yellowish and branches gradually wilting — a slow but sure death for the tree and the cause for this is the grievous injuries inflicted on its roots a fortnight ago by the workers who dug up the tree's base to rectify the water supply pipeline.
An engineer in the Vani Vilas Water Works, when contacted in this regard, said that such incidents were common when it came to providing amenities in urban regions and had to be accepted by the people for their own good.
Trees should neither be planted above the water supply pipelines nor below the electricity cables, the engineer said and expressed his inability to prevent such 'untimely' deaths of trees.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Man to donate tree-covered parcel to city for arboretum, possible tree nursery; Central Point, OR

Man to bequeath tree-covered acreage to city
CENTRAL POINT — An acre and a half of trees near Crater High School will one day serve as an arboretum, adding to the city's inventory of park space.
The property is the subject of a 'life deed,' in which property owner Wally Skyrman will pass the property on to the city at his death. The site has at times served as a tree nursery.
Skyrman, who declined to be interviewed, has owned the property, which was homesteaded by his family in the 1800s, for 50 years.
Parks and Recreation Manager Matt Samitore said the land is 'a beautiful site' with an extensive collection of mature trees, including some that could be recognized under the state's Heritage Tree program.
Samitore said preliminary plans for the site include an arboretum and educational center, and potentially an area for tree propagation that could provide replacement trees for the city's parks.

Tree Alliance joins fight against DOT's Merritt Parkway tree-cutting; Norwalk, CT

Tree Alliance joins fight against Merritt tree-cutting – Wilton Villager CT Environmental Headlines: NORWALK — The Norwalk Tree Alliance has joined the effort to get the state Department of Transportation to trim back its tree cutting along the Merritt Parkway. The Tree Alliance, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote Norwalk’s urban forest canopy, expressed its position in an e-mail to ConnDOT Commissioner Joseph F. Marie and other state officials.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Voters pick newcomers over incumbents - some cite committment to protect tree canopy as deciding factor; Miami-Dade, FL

Voters pick newcomers over incumbents - Northeast Miami-Dade -
Angela Celis, 42, and Clifton Hamilton, 51, village residents for 10 years, said they voted for Cooper and Ross because their platforms included promises to preserve the village's tree canopy.
Celis and Hamilton also said they were concerned about village spending in a tight economy.
``We want them to keep the costs reasonable and make pragmatic decisions,'' Hamilton said. ``We want them to preserve the trees. This is a bird sanctuary, so the environment needs to be intact and we need to keep it as natural as possible.''
This year's elections had a greater voter turnout with just over 33 percent than the 2007 election, in which 26 percent voted.
``I'm happy,'' said Cooper, 48, inside the Ed Burke Recreation Center, where the votes were cast and counted.``I'm actually grateful for all the volunteers that made this possible. This wouldn't had happened if they hadn't help with the campaign.''
Cooper is a professor and director of collections and digital services at St. Thomas University.
Ross, a paralegal, said she was excited to start her term on the commission.
``I'm very excited about getting to work with the other commissioners, focusing on making Biscayne Park a better place to be,'' said Ross, 50, minutes after the results were announced at the Recreation Center. ``Keep it the gem that we are.''

Neighbors Map Out Fire Safety Plan; Santa Monica, CA

Neighbors Map Out Fire Safety Plan - Topanga Messenger Newspaper:
With a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean from Waveview Drive, it was hard to imagine a wildfire blazing through the verdant green hills and oak tree canopy. Yet, the threat is very real because the entire neighborhood backs up to Topanga State Park and has only one road in and out.
If a fire were to start in the Entrada area, the chances of survival are very slim considering a wind-driven fire travels about two miles per hour, and if you wait until the last minute to leave, it could take more than five hours to evacuate from the Canyon.
With only a steep, one-lane road providing entrance and egresss, a fire commander might think twice before sending his team up there. Once there, it is difficult to read obscure, hand-made address signs, know which houses have pools, or the location of water tanks and underground fire hydrants. And if the phones went out or the radio frequencies became clogged, how would you know what was going on?

Drawing a road map to Portland's future; Portland, OR

Drawing a road map to Portland's future Portland News - –
Portland neighborhoods such as Northeast Knott, shown here at 42nd Avenue, are among areas with the highest percentage of tree-canopy cover. Currently, 26 percent of the city is under the tree canopy, and the goal is to reach 33 percent. Trees improve neighborhood livability, in part by shading buildings and potentially reducing demand for heating and air conditioning.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tree canopy enhancement part of protection plan following de-listing of bald eagles as endangered species; Ontario, Canada

Bald eagle to be focus of special session - Brantford Expositor - Ontario, CA:
'It is clear the eagles have returned to Brantford and nest-building activities are underway,' said Bricker.
Although species listed as of 'special concern' are not afforded specific protection under the Endangered Species Act, Bricker suggested the task force should entertain a series of questions that the session and the master plan could examine.
They included the need for setbacks to protect the island nesting or future nestings, the use of signage to warn passersby of a nesting area, the protection and enhancement of tree canopy to improve habitat, and acking of the species to build a database.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

City horticulturist pursues legal action against developer's illegal felling of mature trees; Johannesburg, South Africa

city of johannesburg - Rosebank's old trees felled:
The architects developing a new site in Rosebank are about to be served with a legal notice by the City, charging them with the illegal felling of mature trees on the land.
GLH & Associates Architects, commissioned with constructing an office development for Standard Bank on the corner of Bolton Road and Cradock Avenue, illegally cut down a number of trees over the age of 60 years.
All thats left of a 80-year-old oak tree Trees over this age are protected by the National Forest Act of 1998 and the Environment Conservation Act of 1989. The protection applies to both indigenous and exotic trees, on either private or public property.
Gabriel Motsatsi, the senior horticulturist and acting general manager for street trees at Johannesburg City Parks, says that he hopes to have a lawyer's letter delivered to GLH by the end of the week.

City arborist denies blog writer list of scheduled work as Commissioner investigates removals; Washington, DC

Missing the notice for the trees - Greater Greater Washington:
A leafy canopy makes a street far more desirable and valuable. It's no wonder, then, that residents get very upset when their government removes trees. Sometimes trees have to go; disease can kill them, and if a tree falls, that impacts the homeowner immediately and even literally.
At other times, however, arborists can disagree about whether a tree has to go. We have a honey locust tree in our backyard that lost a limb after another tree fell on it (and the house's previous owner's car) during a storm. About half the aborists we talk to say the tree should come out, since it might fall over one day. The other half say that these trees are nearly indestructible, and unless it starts dying, we have nothing to worry about. We like the shade. What to do? For now, we're keeping it. We hope we're right.
That tree is on private property. But if it were a street tree, DDOT's Urban Forestry Administration could simply decide to take it out. DDOT has policies that they should notify homeowners, and the Council has considered laws to require notification. But those aren't always followed.

Green roofs are great but how about green rooms? Incorporating trees into indoor space and using biomimicry for structure and function in building; Portland, OR

Space Cadet: Fall 2009 Studio Project:
Here is an image of the building with the facade removed. You are looking at the office spaces. The floor plates have been staggered to create many double-height spaces that would allow you to grow 30 ft tall trees indoors. There are a few scientifically proven rules for spaces that enhance cognition-- high ceilings, natural light, and views to nature. To achieve this in an urban context I created places for tree canopy on a cascading series of green roofs. This reminds me of how trees can grow out of older and bigger trees, even 50 or 100 feet above ground, their roots following the tree down into the soil below.