Based on the article by Richard J. Magill, Magill & Associates, Inc.

The Important Roles Behind a Successful Urban Forestry:

It is a common fact that there are many complex challenges that face urban forests and its human inhabitants today. Some of the constraints include limited space, soil quality, air quality, and the availability of adequate water and nutrients.

These constraints significantly hinder healthy tree growth and therefore compromise the quality of life of the humans that live in urban areas.

Urban forests can be on both public and private lands and vary greatly in appearance. Some may be “remnant forests” or small groups of trees preserved during development that become important open space and greenbelts.

Other sites are designed landscapes made up of a thoughtful composition of trees and other plants, typically found in urban parks, transitional areas (edges between different uses) and residential landscapes.

Even though each of the forests described above differ aesthetically and ecologically, it is widely known that trees and plants in all forms and settings provide critically important environmental benefits as well as positive effects on people.

However, the continued health of the urban forest is largely dependent upon the contributions of urban foresters, elected officials and policy-makers, urban designers and planners, and citizen volunteers- including residential homeowners.

Obviously, the people listed above are also beneficiaries of a healthy urban forest. Perhaps this is why the movement to promote and preserve our urban forest resources has gained so much momentum in recent years.

One of the exciting trends recently is the presence of urban foresters on the staff of city governments and local agencies. These trained professionals offer critical technical knowledge of plants and their benefit to the inhabitants of urban landscapes. Even smaller municipalities are realizing the advantages of having a qualified forester to advise them on policy and procedures.

Elected officials and policy-makers have the responsibility to turn the latest technical information and the tide of public opinion into effective policy and working regulations. An increased awareness of the importance of a healthy forest in all types of human interactions in the urban environment needs to be supported and advanced by these trusted public servants, both in policy and action-based regulations.

Another essential partner in urban forest development are urban planners. They promote the establishment and/or conservation of public and private open space, greenbelts and conservation areas, both in public community master plans and through the review of private development proposals. These trained professionals utilize the technical knowledge provided by urban foresters, sociologists, landscape architects, biologists, soil scientists, engineers and other experts to provide a framework for sustainable growth and development.

Citizen volunteers are also necessary as workforce for planting and maintaining trees and other plants in cities and towns around the world. Without these volunteers, the cost of healthy urban forests would often be prohibitive, especially for smaller municipalities.

Finally, the socially and environmentally responsible companies that produce innovative products to advance the quality and efficiency of the urban infrastructure are critical in the future health of our city forests.

Companies such as Citygreen® produce thoughtfully designed and manufactured landscape systems, above and below ground, that provide effective solutions to the complex demands of the urban environment.

FREE Urban Forestry Ebook