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.

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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Tree Species Diversity Key to Sustainable Urban Development

Uppsala, Sweden (June 23, 2016) – Using examples from Northern and Central Europe new research illustrates that in some regions the catalogue of native tree species may be too limited to fulfill ecosystem services and resilience in harsh urban environments, and concludes that communities cannot afford to generally exclude non-native tree species from urban greening.
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A Comparison Of Urban And Periurban Forests

Tuscaloosa, AL (June 9, 2016) – Pairing urban forest data from eight cities across the southeastern U.S. with periurban (spaces between the urban and rural interface) forest data shows that tree diversity, as well as both observed and estimated species richness values, were greater in urban forest areas. How does human population effect these forest areas and what does this mean for urban forester planners?
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EAB: Saving Trees Early Less Costly Than Replacing Them

West Lafayette, IN (June 20, 2016) – Cities and towns with urban forests, such as parks and streets lined with trees, could spend less money by taking steps to save emerald ash borer-infested trees early rather than wait until they can only replace them, Purdue University researchers concluded in a new study.
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Knowledge Co-Production In Urban Research

By Lindsay K. Campbell, Erika S. Svendsen, and Lara A. Roman

Baltimore, MD (June 20, 2016) – Cities are increasingly engaging in sustainability efforts and investment in green infrastructure, including large-scale urban tree planting campaigns. In this context, researchers and practitioners are working jointly to develop applicable knowledge for planning and managing the urban forest. A new paper presents three case studies of this kind of knowledge co-production in urban forestry.
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California Street Tree Benefits Valued At $1 Billion

Albany, CA (June 14, 2016) – According to a new report from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, the trees lining California’s streets are estimated to provide the state and its citizens with more than $1 billion in benefits. For every $1 spent on planting or maintaining a street tree, that tree returns, on average, $5.82 in benefits.
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Urban Parks Build Healthy Cities

Clemson, SC (May 12, 2016) – A new study using the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index suggests the path to long-term happiness may lead straight through the closest park. An interdisciplinary team of researchers is using data from Gallup and other sources to explore connections between urban parks, green space and public health.
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