Community Tree Resources

Organizations

American Forests, the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizens’ conservation organization, is a world leader in planting trees for environmental restoration, a pioneer in the science and practice of urban forestry, and a primary communicator of the benefits of trees and forests.

The Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry (CUIF) supports and conducts research, disseminates new and existing information, serves as a clearinghouse of urban forestry and wildland-urban interface information, builds partnerships and collaborative efforts, and facilitates and creates links to and between other organizations. CUIF’s two Web sites, Urban Forestry South Expo and InterfaceSouth, are useful tools for providing easily accessible information to partners, natural resource practitioners, and the public.

The National Arbor Day Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit conservation and education organization, works to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

Tree advocacy groups increase awareness of the benefits of the urban forest, coordinate the planting of thousands of trees, develop educational programs, and provide an essential conduit for volunteer action on the local level. Many groups are members of the Alliance for Community (ACT) Trees, a national organization that supports grassroots, citizen-based nonprofit organizations dedicated to urban and community tree planting, care, conservation, and education. To find groups in your state, contact ACT or your state forestry agency.

Tree Boards are groups charged, generally by ordinance, with overseeing the needs of the urban forest. Typically, tree boards/commissions are responsible for policy formulation, advising, administration, management, representation and advocacy. The mission of a tree board is usually defined in a tree ordinance. Contact your state forestry agency to find tree boards in your state.

Urban Forestry Councils are made up of leaders from local governments, non-profit tree groups, state agencies, universities, arborists, nurserymen, landscape architects, and interested individuals. They advise state foresters on urban forestry issues and promote tree protection, planting, and care through educational conferences, awards programs and workshops. Contact your state forestry agency for information on your state's council.

Publications

The U.S. Forest Service publication, Human Influences on Forest Ecosystems: The Southern Wildland-Urban Interface Assessment, examines critical wildland-urban interface issues with topics including population and demographic trends, economic and tax issues, land use planning and policy issues, urban influences on forest ecosystems, challenges for forest resource management and conservation, social issues, and themes and research needs for the wildland-urban interface.

The Urban Forestry Manual, a project of the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region, the Southern Research Station, and the Southern Group of State Foresters is an educational tool for state forestry agency employees and others who work with communities on urban forestry issues. It can be used for self-guided learning, finding specific information on a topic and developing workshops and presentations. Chapter topics include Benefits and Costs of the Urban Forest, The Role of the State Forestry Agency in Urban Forestry, Dendrology, Urban Soils, Site and Tree Selection, Tree Planting, Tree Maintenance, Trees and Construction, Urban Wildlife and Public Policy.

Web Sites

The Texas A&M Forest Service created this model public tree care ordinance website as a resource for local communities and governments interested in developing, revising, or evaluating local tree ordinances.

The InterfaceSouth Web site was developed by and is maintained through a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station and the University of Florida School of Forest and Resource Conservation. It includes up-to-date information on the wildland-urban interface, such as current news, events, publications, training and outreach programs, and decision support systems. It also includes reference information such as a literature database, a photo gallery, and links to other informative Web sites.

i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban and community forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the environmental services that trees provide and the structure of the urban forest.  i-Tree is in the public domain and available by request through the i-Tree website (www.itreetools.org). The i-Tree suite v3.0 includes two flagship urban forest analysis tools and three utility programs.

The Grove provides a unique opportunity for people to plant trees to commemorate special life moments and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

TreeLink provides information networking and communications tools for urban forestry professionals, nonprofits, government, academics, researchers and the public at large. This includes resources for education and public policy, best practices, access to research on all aspects of tree and forest biology, planting guides, volunteer opportunities, listserves and links to other tree-related organizations, information and activities.

The Urban Forestry South Expo Web site is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region, Urban and Community Forestry Program (U&CF); the Southern Research Station; University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; and the Southern Group of State Foresters. It contains sample tree ordinances, The Urban Forestry Training Manual, news from around the South, classroom activities, presentations and many useful links.

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