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.

Multiple Health Benefits Of Urban Tree Canopy

By Jared M. Ulmer, Kathleen L. Wolf, Desiree R. Backman, Raymond L. Tretheway, Cynthia JA Blaine, Jarlath PM O’Neil-Dunne and Lawrence D. Frank

Rochester, NY (September 14, 2016) – According to new research, there is mounting evidence for a “green prescription.” The study findings enhance our understanding of the health-promoting potential of trees in an urbanized region of the U.S.

Caltech Engineers Teach Machines To Recognize Tree Species

Pasadena, CA (September 14, 2016) – Engineers from Caltech have developed a method that uses data from satellite and street-level images, such as the ones that you can see in Google maps, to create automatically an inventory of street trees that cities may use to better manage urban forests.

A Homeowners Guide to Dealing with Storm-Damaged Trees

By U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station, and adapted from a factsheet prepared by the Arkansas Forestry Commission

Asheville, NC (September 6, 2016) – Whether trees are damaged by hurricanes, tornadoes, intense rainstorms, or ice storms, they need to be carefully assessed to ensure the safety of homeowners and property. It’s also important to carefully assess whether a damaged tree can be saved, and if so, what actions can be taken to ensure and maintain optimal health.

A Review Of Tree Diversity In Suburban Areas

By Sophie Nitoslawski, Peter Duinker, and Peter G. Bush

Nova Scotia, Canada (July 2016) – Tree diversity is crucial to urban forest management. More-diverse urban forests provide habitat for a wider range of organisms, increase resilience to pests and disease, and, in the case where native tree species are well represented, contribute to local biodiversity protection. A new report offers an overview of drivers of tree-species composition in suburban North American forests.

A Twist On City Green Spaces And Health

By by Viniece Jennings, U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station

Asheville, NC (May 26, 2016) – Although the benefits of urban forests, gardens, parks, and other green spaces have been documented, the nuances of this relationship continue to be explored. For example, the role of green spaces in the social aspects of public health are often overlooked.

Influence of Urban Forests on Children With Autism

Asheville, NC (August 23, 2016) – In late July, USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the four recipients of the 2016 USDA Forest Service’s National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge grants. One of the four, the winning proposal from Georgia State University (GSU), investigates the impact of natural environments such as urban and community forests on symptom expression in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Urban Trees Reduce Nutrient Leaching To Groundwater

By Daniel A. Nidzgorski and Sarah E. Hobbie

St. Paul, MN (July 2016) – Many urban waterways suffer from excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), feeding algal blooms, which cause lower water clarity and oxygen levels, bad odor and taste, and the loss of desirable species. Nutrient movement from land to water is likely to be influenced by urban vegetation, but there are few empirical studies addressing this. Researchers examine whether or not urban trees can reduce nutrient leaching to groundwater, an important nutrient export pathway that has received less attention than stormwater.

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.

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.

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.