Tree Research

To help local tree advocates make the case for trees in their communities, ACTrees has compiled Benefits of Trees and Urban Forests: A Research List.  This research listing includes over 150 tree benefits and facts, ranging from the national to the hyper-local level, and all with complete scientific citations. This information tells the story of trees in dollars and cents, in pounds and percents, with compelling data about why maintaining and growing a healthy urban forest is a smart, sustainable investment. Learn more.

And check out other current research that may be of interest to those in the urban greening community. For a full list of research, visit the Research Archive.

A Research Roundup: Green Infrastructure and Its Health Benefits

Seattle, WA (April 2, 2014) — University of Washington researcher Kathleen L. Wolf recently made the case in Stormwater Report for trees and green infrastructure to both manage stormwater runoff and also offer a host of health benefits. According to Wolf, “Every small patch of nature in cities and built areas can be ‘hyperfunctional’ and provide co-benefits. While performing the primary purpose of stormwater management, green infrastructure also can be designed to augment park systems and provide places of respite, recreation, and delight.“

Factors that Explain Urban Heat Islands in Chicago

By Paul Coseo and Larissa Larsen

Chicago, IL (May 2014) — New research to be published in the May 2014 issue of Urban and Landscape Planning, combined 14 physical measures to estimate elevated air temperatures in eight Chicago neighborhoods. The study, “How factors of land use/land cover, building configuration, and adjacent heat sources and sinks explain Urban Heat Islands in Chicago, ” combined variables from the remote sensing and urban climatology publications to explain Urban Heat Island intensity.

Green Schoolyards Prove Havens From Stress

By Louise Chawla, Kelly Keena, Illène Pevec, and Emily Stanley

Boulder, CO — In a study to be published July 2014 in Health & Place, researchers highlight the results of their investigation into how green schoolyards can reduce stress and promote protective factors for resilience in students.

Cornell Study Shows School Gardens Boost Youth Activity Levels

Ithaca, NY (March 20, 2014) — A two-year Cornell study of 12 elementary schools in five New York regions finds that kids at schools with gardens increased their activity levels. Students at schools with gardens were moderately physically active at school for 10 more minutes a week than before their schools had gardens–an increase of four times what peers experienced at gardenless schools.

Tree Species Most At Risk in a Changing Climate

By Kevin M. Potter and William W. Hargrove

Asheville, NC (September 3, 2013) — Changing climate may pose a threat to forest tree species, forcing three potential population-level responses: toleration/adaptation, movement to suitable environmental conditions, or local extirpation.

UConn Stormwise Program Helping to Build Stronger Trees

Storrs, CT (February 18, 2014) — In Connecticut, about 80% to 90% of power outages during storms are caused by trees that fail. In recent significant storms, Connecticut lost an estimated nearly 2% of its trees and, subsequently, its power. Downed trees as a result of storms can knock down power lines and block transportation corridors, so scientists at UConn are studying why trees fail, and how they can be made stronger.

Valuing Green Infrastructure in Portland, Oregon

By Noelwah R. Netusil, Zachary Levin, Vivek Shandas, and Ted Hart

Portland, OR (February 2014) — This study uses the hedonic price method to examine if proximity, abundance, and characteristics of green street facilities affect the sale price of single-family residential properties in Portland, Oregon.

Asian Longhorned Beetles Pheromone Could Be Used To Manage Pest

University Park, PA (February 13, 2014) — Female Asian longhorned beetles lure males to their locations by laying down sex-specific pheromone trails on tree surfaces, according to an international team of researchers. The finding could lead to the development of a tool to manage this invasive pest that affects about 25 tree species in the United States.

Carbon Storage Services of Private Residential Urban Forests

By Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh, Sarah K. Mincey, Matt Patterson, Burnell C. Fischer, and Tom P. Evans

Bloomington, IN (February 24, 2014) — This new research examines the private residential urban forests of Bloomington, Indiana, and the carbon storage services they provide. Results demonstrate that sustaining tree-produced ecosystem services requires maintenance of large old trees and species diversity.