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.

Urban Tree Diversity – Taking Stock and Looking Ahead

By J. Morgenroth, J. Östberg, C. Konijnendijk van den Bosch, A.B. Nielsen, R. Hauer, H. Sjöman, W. Chene, M. Jansson

Alnarp, Sweden (November 10, 2015) — The first International Conference on Urban Tree Diversity hosted in June 2014 by the Swedish University of Agricultural Science in Alnarp, Sweden highlighted the need for a better understanding of the current state of urban tree diversity. Researchers have now published themes and principles stemming from the conference, including the role of species diversity in urban conditions.

Citizen Science To Help Evaluate Water-Saving Benefits Of Trees

Riverside, CA (October 27, 2015) — What have your trees done for you lately? According to UC Riverside Professor of Botany and Plant Science Darrel Jenerette, trees cool our homes, neighborhoods, and improve our health. Now he is exploring the hypothesis that the cooling provided by trees may also help save water, an important virtue during California’s unprecedented drought.

Stewardship Matters: Case Studies In Establishment Success of Urban Trees

By Lara A. Romana, Lindsey A. Walker, Catherine M. Martineau, David J. Muffly, Susan A. MacQueen,and Winnie Harris

Philadelphia, PA (November 3, 2015) — A new U.S. Forest Service assessment of program practices of neighborhood tree planting programs in California and Philadelphia show that stewardship is essential to tree survival. This includes both specific tree care activities and program processes to support those activities.

Trees Prove Effective At Removing Stormwater From Bioswales

By Bryant C. Scharenbroch, Justin Morgenroth and Brian Maule

Chicago, IL (October 14, 2015) — In a study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, tree species proved most effective at removing stormwater from bioswales and back into the atmosphere—a process known as water cycling. These heroic trees were part of an upgraded parking lot and visitor center built at the Morton Arboretum, just outside Chicago.

Tree Planting Alone May Not Significantly Offset Urban Carbon Emissions

By Chang Zhao and Heather A. Sander

Iowa City, IA (October 20, 2015) — A University of Iowa study has identified “hotspots” in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, where carbon emissions far outpace trees’ ability to store the pollution. The analysis may help city planners determine the best locations to focus tree-planting efforts.

Forest Service Research Shapes New Urban Ecology

Baltimore, MD (October 20, 2015) — USDA Forest Service research is shaping a vast and still growing landscape: cities. In a book published this month by Yale University Press, a Forest Service scientist and co-authors propose a new school of urban ecology based on two decades of Forest Service research in Baltimore that encompasses cities’ social, political, and ecological complexity.

A Difficult Duo: Landscape Trees And Lawn Maintenance Equipment

By Justin Morgenroth, Bernardo Santos, and Brad Cadwallader

Christchurch, NZ (October 9, 2015) — A new survey finds that nearly two thirds of surveyed park trees had at least one mechanical wound from lawn maintenance and related equipment. This was higher for trees with exposed surface roots. Tree care and maintenance activities were shown to significantly reduced the incidence of mechanical wounding.

Trees Offer Protective Effect For Cardiovascular Disease

By Geoffrey H. Donovan, Yvonne L. Michael, Demetrios Gatziolis, Jeffrey P. Prestemon, and Eric A. Whitsel

Portland, OR (September 1, 2015) — A new study from USDA researchers finds that trees may offer a significant protective effect for cardiovascular disease. Using data from the Women’s Health Initiative, they found that women living in counties infested with emerald ash borer had a 25% higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Watershed Scientists Offer National Flood and Runoff Assessment

Amherst, MA (September 18, 2015) — The first continent-wide, multi-factor analysis of climate and land cover effects on watersheds in the U.S. has been released, and provides a broad new assessment of runoff, flooding and storm water management options for land use and town planners and water quality managers. Recommendations include the increased use of green infrastructure and best management practices to enhance watershed system resilience.

Trees Help Disperse Pollution In Urban Centers

Leicester, UK (September 3, 2015) — A new study conducted at the University of Leicester has concluded that trees could help to disperse pollution in cities across the country, purifying the air we breathe and reducing pedestrian pollution by up to 7%.