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.

Homeowners’ Welcome Boost in Property Values From City Trees

Gainsville, FL (August 17, 2016) – If a city plants trees near a residential area, most homeowners value the likely subsequent boost to their property values, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows. And they’re willing to pay an average of $7 more per month in taxes for public trees planted in their city.
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Resident Evaluation Of Urban Forest Response To Major Storm Event

By Tenley M. Conway, Vivian Yip

Mississauga, ON (May 12, 2016) – Ecosystem services associated with urban forests have received significant consideration in the last decade, but less attention has been given to disservices. Researchers assess Toronto residents’ experiences related to a 2013 ice storm to understand the ecosystem impact and the role of disservices in residential tree management.
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Exploring The ‘Break Point’ For Urban Trees

By Matthew Richmond, Ideastream

Shalersville, OH (August 4, 2016) – Once every three years, researchers and volunteers from local tree trimming companies come to Davey Tree Research Farm to mess with trees, called Biomechanics Field Day. In this setting, they test what might be the breaking point for urban trees under a variety of conditions.
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Assessing Establishment For Transplanted Street Trees

By Alex R. Sherman, Brian Kane, Wesley A. Autio, J. Roger Harris, H. Dennis P. Ryan

Boston, MA (July 12, 2016) – Slow growth following tree transplanting is characteristic of the establishment period. Most research, however, has been conducted on trees transplanted in nurseries or favorable growing sites. In urban areas, many trees are transplanted into more challenging growing conditions, and very few studies have investigated establishment period for these trees.
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Urban Tree Assessment Using Airborne LiDAR

By Andrew A. Plowright, Nicholas C. Coops, Bianca N.I. Eskelson, Stephen R.J. Sheppard, Neal W. Aven

Vancouver, Canada (July 2, 2016) – Growing interest in urban forests on behalf of city dwellers and urban planners, creates a growing need for comprehensive information and monitoring of urban tree conditions. To help do that, researchers examined the potential of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) for evaluating tree condition in the urban center of Surrey, Canada.
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A Framework For Adapting Urban Forests To Climate Change

By Leslie Brandt, Abigail Derby Lewis, Robert Fahey, Lydia Scott, Lindsay Darling, and Chris Swanston

Chicago, IL (June 23, 2016) – Planting urban trees and expanding urban forest canopy cover are often considered key strategies for reducing climate change impacts in urban areas. However, urban trees and forests can also be vulnerable to climate change. Researchers lay out a framework for urban forest vulnerability assessment and adaption through a Chicago region pilot test.
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The Connection Between Urban Trees And Crime

By Michelle C. Kondo, SeungHoon Han, Geoffrey H. Donovan, and John M. MacDonald

Philadelphia, PA (July 13, 2016) – The ecological impact of invasive tree pests is increasing worldwide. However, invasive tree pests may also have significant social costs. Researchers investigated the association between the emerald ash borer and crime in Cincinnati, Ohio. Results show urban trees may reduce crime.
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The Effects Of Microclimate On The Growth And Health Of Urban Trees

By Meredith P. Martin, Cary Simmons, and Mark S. Ashton

New Haven, CT (June 28, 2016) – The growth and health of urban trees are significantly impacted by microclimate zone. To evaluate the survivability under specific microclimate conditions, researchers at Yale analyzed three popular ornamental street trees species over a 16 year period.
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Does Tree Planting Pay Us Back? Lessons From Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, CA (June 2016) – The past decade could be called a renaissance of urban forestry, driven by mayoral tree planting initiatives and increased attention on city trees as green infrastructure.The political support for urban greening has been fueled by research that quantifies and projects the ecosystem services of planting initiatives. Major cities have been launching “million tree” campaigns, hoping that those trees pay us back. But do they?
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Climate Adaptation: What Trees Are Suitable For Urban Heat Management?

By Kevin Lanza and Brian Stone Jr.

Atlanta, GA (July 11, 2016) – Research out of Georgia Tech examines the effect of hardiness zone shifts on tree distribution in the U.S., and the subsequent effect on trees as a strategy for cooling urban environments. Of the projected tree species lost, deciduous outnumbered coniferous 3 to 1.
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